Answering the Question: What is High Blood Pressure?

Before heading to your next yearly physical, answer this question: do you know what is high blood pressure? If you do not, you should ask your doctor about it when you have an appointment as high blood pressure can cause a number of illnesses that you are likely not aware of. Because high blood pressure aka hypertension is known as the silent killer, it behooves you to find out exactly what is high blood pressure, before you end up with a stroke or heart attack.

What is Normal and What is Not

As a point of reference, you should strive for a normal blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm HG as anything over it would answer the question of what is high blood pressure. Now, if those readings fell between 120/80 mm HG and 139/89 mm HG, you would be in the pre-hypertension stage which is a major red flag for you indicating you need to shape up your lifestyle. Smoking, fatty diets, excessive alcohol consumption, high stress and lack of consistent exercise are major lifestyle issues that could serve as the answer to what is high blood pressure.

First stage hypertension has blood pressure readings of 140/90 mm Hg to 159/99 mm HG and depending on your general health, the doctor may or may not prescribe medication along with necessary lifestyle changes. Most likely however, a diuretic aka water pill is the first line of defense in addressing the high blood pressure problem.

Answering the question of what is high blood pressure would likely lead you to the fact that there is a second stage of hypertension. The high blood pressure readings would be 160/100 mm HG and above and most people find out about it after suffering a heart attack or stroke, the two leading illnesses caused by hypertension.

Other Information

When you first hear about what is high blood pressure, you are likely to become freaked and you envision drugs for the rest of your life. As hinted above, the treatment for pre-hypertension is lifestyle changes such as a better diet, more exercise, quit smoking and drinking and lower your stress levels. If you are lucky enough to fall into this stage, you may be able to avoid medications all together but with hypertension in stage one and above, it is likely a fait accompli.

If your lifestyle is already relatively healthy and you still have hypertensive readings, perhaps the answer to what is high blood pressure for you lies within a pre-existing health condition or even medication you may be taking for an illness. In this case, consult with your doctor and get a full physical work-up along with family history as there may be some clue in your past or current health.