Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects about 70 million adults and 2 million teens and children in the United States. It often has no symptoms and is usually found through routine screenings at the doctor’s office.

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Contact your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms, which can indicate dangerously high blood pressure:

  • Severe headaches
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Problems with vision
  • Chest pains
  • Breathing problems
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine


Some high blood pressure is genetic or a result of normal aging. Even so, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure or help reduce your blood pressure if it is high. 

  • Avoid smoking
  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat less processed and packaged foods
  • Limit sodium intake
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products
  • Drink moderately, if at all
  • Manage stress
  • Work to achieve or maintain a healthy weight
  • Ask your doctor about medications that might raise blood pressure
  • Manage any conditions, like diabetes and kidney disease, that can contribute to blood pressure problems

If your high blood pressure cannot be managed with lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe medicine to reduce blood pressure. It is important to take these medications as directed. Failure to do so can result in complications, stroke, and even death.

"It's not that we mean to, but we can take our doctors for granted. I thought it was time I really thanked you for all the times in the past and today that you have been a blessing to me."
- Marshal C.

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