Image by Pavel Danilyuk
Nearly half of adults in the United States, 116 million people, have hypertension. Dealing with high blood pressure can be very serious. It can cause damage to your brain, heart, kidneys, and eyes – leading to health problems like heart disease, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, and heart failure.
Good news is there are several ways to help manage your blood pressure. USFHP recommends checking with your doctor to see what options are best for you.
Blood Pressure Levels
There are no warning signs or symptoms when it comes to knowing if you have high blood pressure. The only way to know your numbers is to measure your blood pressure.
Your blood pressure is measured using two numbers. The top number is the systolic number and the bottom number is the diastolic number.
- Normal: systolic: less than 120 mm Hg, diastolic: less than 80 mm Hg
- Elevated: systolic: 120–129 mm Hg, diastolic: less than 80 mm Hg
- High blood pressure: systolic: 130 mm Hg or higher, diastolic: 80 mm Hg or higher
There are a few ways to check your status: visit your primary care doctor, use machines at a pharmacy or get an at-home blood pressure monitor. To get an accurate reading, you must sit up straight, have your feet flat on the floor, and limit movement.
Eating with High Blood Pressure
If you are someone with high pressure you are recommended to avoid foods high in sodium/salt, fats, and calories. Instead, try having a diet that consists of lots of fruits, vegetables, bread, and lean meats. It is also recommended to have plain rice, pasta, potatoes, and vegetables free of any added salt.
Ways to Prevent & Manage High Blood Pressure
- Exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week
- Eat a healthy diet, limit alcohol & salt intake
- Get enough sleep
- Manage stress
- No smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
USFHP’s TRICARE Prime Plan offers benefits that support healthy living management. We’ve developed incentive programs that give rewards to our members for meeting certain health goals.
Visit usfhp.net or call 1-800-241-4848 for help finding a provider or assistance scheduling an appointment.