The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association just released their new blood pressure treatment guidelines. The biggest change? What readings define high blood pressure.
Are you ready for this? High blood pressure is now defined as a reading higher than 130/80 mmHg (as based on the average of at least 2 readings obtained on over 2 occasions). This is 10 points LOWER than the previous definition, and places over 100 million Americans – or one out of every 2 adults – in the hypertensive category.
And if you’re a physician like me, you are taken aback.
It was hard enough to get my patients “to goal” when high blood pressure was defined as any reading over 140/90 mmHg. For some patients, it took 5 antihypertensive medications to get them to that (now considered uncontrolled) reading. Does this mean that the “new normal” will be seven drugs??
As I tell all my patients, I’m not against medications. I prescribe them all the time. But I consider drugs to be supporting players to an all-out lifestyle approach. And as you may have seen in a previous blog, high blood pressure might actually be optional – if we only lowered our sodium intake far enough.
So, if you all of a sudden have been classified as having a new chronic disease (hypertension), know that you have a lot of control over this. Follow these hints on how to lower your sodium intake and make diet a cornerstone of your treatment efforts.
You CAN avoid adding a diagnosis to your list of health problems and you CAN reduce your need for prescription medications. At Step One Foods, we’re here to help you do just that.