High blood pressure
is defined as a systolic blood pressure >139 (the upper number) or a diastolic blood pressure >89 (the lower number). For diabetics, the cutoff is lowered to 129/79.
Several disorders may cause high blood pressure. By far, the most common cause is essential hypertension
. Other reasons include as mood disorders
, obstructive sleep apnea
, renal artery stenosis
, endocrine disorders, and more. Even if your blood pressure is "normal" at age 55, you still have a 90% chance of developing high blood pressure in your lifetime.
There are several ways to reduce your blood pressure safely without resorting to medicines. None of them are easy. Weight loss
, physical exercise, avoiding too much caffeine, quitting smoking
and alcohol, and lowering your salt intake have all been proven to help lower blood pressure. However, if your blood pressure is >20 above the limits on at least 2 occasions, your doctor may recommend you start a medicine while changing your lifestyle at the same time.
Please note that there is little-to-no evidence to support claims that certain herbs may help reduce blood pressure "naturally" . If you do decide to start taking herbal medications, be sure to inform your doctor to avoid possible drug-herb interactions.