In the last couple years, many people that had “normal” blood pressure readings were all of a sudden put in the hypertensive category. Nearly half of all American adults will now be considered hypertensive according to the NEW HYPERTENSION GUIDELINES. It may have felt like it occurred over night (because it sorta did) that you were now being given a bunch of medications to control the elevated blood pressure that you didn’t even know you had. Or if you weren’t given a bunch of medications, your doctor gave you several tasks to follow to try to gain better control of your blood pressure before prescribing medications.
But how and when exactly are you diagnosed with hypertension? It seems like it happens quickly for some, and not so quickly for others. Well, that depends on quite a few factors.
- One high reading will not give you a diagnosis of hypertension. Blood pressure must be read consistently high over 3 or more visits to the doctor’s office on 3 or more separate days in order to get the official diagnosis.
- The exception to this rule is if your blood pressure is dangerously high. If your readings are in a range that the practitioner feels is unsafe, you can be diagnosed immediately and treatment will begin accordingly.
- As you get older, your doctors will begin to pay even more attention to your blood pressure readings. Blood pressures tend to rise as a person ages, so your practitioner will want to make sure you stay on top of it.
- If you have a family history of hypertension or heart disease, especially if it’s a first degree relative (parents, siblings, etc.), your practitioners will more likely keep a closer eye on your blood pressure and cardiovascular health in general.
- If you have other health circumstances / concerns that may impact your blood pressure and heart health – pregnancy, PCOS, Thyroid conditions, adrenal conditions, diabetes, etc – your practitioner may be more aggressive about diagnosis and treatment
- Ladies, as you begin to approach menopause and perimenopause your doctor should be paying more attention to your blood pressure. There is a correlation to the drop in estrogen and the rise in blood pressure.
One higher reading is not enough to make an official diagnosis of hypertension, but it is enough for you and your doctor to begin to pay closer attention to your readings.
Be diligent about knowing your numbers. As you get older, begin to test your BP on a regular basis or have your practitioner test it at regular intervals. It is called Silent Killer for a reason…
If you’d like to talk about natural and holistic ways to get and keep your blood pressure low, let’s chat. CLICK HERE to set up a free 15 minute consultation.