Pre-hypertension –Body rings the warning bell


Most of us are aware of ‘hypertension’ but many may not be familiar of the term and prevalence of ‘pre-hypertension’. Continual slight elevation in blood pressure is known as prehypertension. In likelihood, prehypertension may turn into high blood pressure (hypertension) if one doesn’t make corrective changes in the lifestyle.

First, let’s revise the basics of blood pressure.

The pressure exerted by the blood on the wall of blood vessels is called blood pressure. Normal limits for blood pressure are,


Systolic- Up to 120mm of Hg
Diastolic – 80 mm of Hg


Systolic- 120-130mm of Hg
Diastolic – 80-90 mm of Hg


Systolic- Above 130mm of Hg
Diastolic – Above 90 mm of Hg

Pre-hypertension as a separate category was introduced much recently to emphasize the risk associated with high blood pressure. Pre-hypertension in itself is not an illness but acts as a warning stage to get alarmed of heart diseases that may strike in future.

Who are at risk?
People who are obese, diabetic, have high cholesterol, high salt intake and follow sedentary lifestyle are more prone to develop pre-hypertension.

Blood pressure tends to fluctuate with various factors and reasons. The diagnosis of pre-hypertension is made on the basis of taking the average of two or more blood pressure readings on separate occasions in a consistent atmosphere and level of physical activity.

If the blood pressure readings show more than 120/80 mmHg but below 130/90 mmHg consistently, then it is diagnosed as prehypertension.

Prevention and Management
Pre-hypertension does not require any medication. It can be well taken care of by mending one’s lifestyle.

Get rid of excess fat: Obesity increases the risk of pre-hypertension. Therefore losing weight must be considered.

Exercise: Physical activity in any form should be practiced daily to keep the body active. Cycling, swimming, walking, aerobics, stretching and muscle strengthening exercises can be included in the regimen.

Limit salt intake: Salt intake should be limited to for not more than 2 tsp (10 grams) per day.

High fibre diet: in your diet, include more of fresh fruits and vegetables, which will help in reducing blood pressure. Following the ‘Dash Diet Plan’ also proves to be helpful.

Manage stress: It is very difficult completely abolish stress from our lives but try to minimize it by meditation and relaxation techniques.

Limit Drinking and quit smoking: Alcohol and nicotine in cigarettes are other factors which increases the risk of hypertension.

Remember, pre-hypertensive stage should be taken as a good reminder or a warning sign to reduce risk of hypertension and its complications.