My Systolic Pressure Is Always Ok; But The Diastolic Gets Into 90 To 110. What Do I Do To Come Down?

Question

Asked by Saintbp

My Systolic Pressure Is Always Ok; But The Diastolic Gets Into 90 To 110. What Do I Do To Come Down?

Answer

Saintbp,

Thanks for your question.

The American Heart Association defines normal blood pressure: systolic less than 130, and diastolic less than 80. Pre-hypertension is defined as: systolic 130 - 140, and diastolic 70 - 80. Anything above these numbers is hypertension.

I suggest you make an appointment with your physician to have your readings confirmed. If you are taking your own pressure with a machine at home, I would bring that with you to see the doctor. You should take your pressure at the doctor's office, followed by him taking your pressure with his apparatus, so that the readings can be compared. This will give him an idea of how accurate your machine is, compared to his. After asking your questions (taking your history), and examining you, he will decide whether treatment is necessary.

In the meantime, start following a low salt diet, 2000 to 2300 milligrams of sodium (about 1 teaspoon per day). Stop adding salt to your food and cooking, avoid processed meats, and canned soups and vegetables, unless they specifically say no added salt. Avoid "fast foods" and salted snacks. Fruits and vegetables would be great.

Consider beginning an exercise program three to four times a week. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor for heart and vascular disease, so start taking steps to minimize any other possible risk factors, such as smoking cessation, following a healthy, low fat diet. Be sure your doctor does routine blood screening, especially checking for diabetes.

I hope this has been helpful. Best wishes.

Martin Cane, M.D.