What is Prehypertension? Are You at Risk?

Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)
Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)

General Physician | 6+ years

What is Prehypertension
Living with diabetes, hypertension or any other chronic disease requires you to do multiple things – track vitals, take medicines & stay on top of your health at all times. If this overwhelms you, switch to Phable – India’s No. 1 BP & Sugar Management App to manage your condition better. Take charge of your health and stay connected with doctors, order medicines and do a whole lot more from the comfort of your home.

“Take Care Of Your Body. It’s The Only Place You Have To Live” – Jim Rohn

Small steps can lead to big changes. Know what’s good for your body and take action. It is the best way to prevent chronic conditions such as hypertension. Knowing what leads to changes in your blood pressure, will help you catch prehypertension and act early. 

Contents:
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What is Meant by Prehypertension?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What is the Prehypertension Range?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What Causes Prehypertension?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What are the Signs and Symptoms of Prehypertension?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What are the Treatment Measures for Prehypertension?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What Happens if you Don’t Manage Prehypertension at an Early Stage?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Don’t Have Time To Read?
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    FAQs
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What is Meant by Prehypertension?

High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where your blood pressure is consistently above the normal levels (120/80 mm Hg). Whereas, prehypertension is a stage before hypertension where you are at risk of developing high blood pressure.

High blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular conditions, kidneys diseases, vision and memory problems. Therefore, you should take the necessary precautionary measures during this stage (prehypertension) to avoid reaching hypertension.

What is the Prehypertension Blood Pressure Range?

In prehypertension, your systolic blood pressure (top number) ranges from 120 to 139 mm Hg, and your diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) ranges from 80 to 89 mm Hg. 

What Causes Prehypertension?

A number of factors can contribute to prehypertension such as having a family history of hypertension, unhealthy food habits, and lifestyle choices.

It can also occur as the result of certain medical conditions such as thyroid or adrenal diseases, kidney disorders, and sleep problems such as obstructive sleep apnea.

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What are the Signs and Symptoms of Prehypertension?

Prehypertension is asymptomatic. Typically, you will not experience any symptoms with prehypertension. The only way to detect it is through regular screenings. If you have a family history of hypertension or if you are suffering from any condition that increases your risk of developing high blood pressure, then make sure that you monitor your blood pressure levels regularly. It can be either done at home or at your doctor’s clinic. 

What are the Treatment Measures for Prehypertension?

The following strategies will help you manage prehypertension:

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. Maintaining an ideal weight will help you prevent hypertension and will also contribute to your overall health. 

Exercise Regularly

Leading an inactive or sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factors for high blood pressure. Staying active or exercising regularly helps you maintain a healthy weight, improves your blood circulation, and thus lowers the risk of developing high blood pressure.

Have a Healthy Diet

Diet plays an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products in your diet. Following a DASH diet is recommended for preventing and managing high blood pressure. It includes a diet that is high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and protein.

Cut Back on Dietary Sodium

Sodium leads to water retention and thus increases your blood volume. The higher the blood volume, the more is your blood pressure. Limiting or cutting back on dietary salt or sodium helps in lowering your blood pressure. 

Limit Saturated Fat and Cholesterol

A diet that is high in saturated fats and cholesterol (such as meat and high-fat dairy) can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. Choosing a plant-based diet and including more fruits and vegetables in your diet can help manage your blood pressure well. 

Restrict Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can put you at risk of developing high blood pressure. Limiting alcohol consumption can help you control your blood pressure. 

What Happens if you Don’t Manage Prehypertension at an Early Stage?

Not managing prehypertension at an early stage can lead to hypertension. Hypertension can eventually cause damage to your blood vessels and affect the functioning of your vital organs such as the heart and kidneys. Therefore, make sure you monitor your blood pressure levels regularly to detect any variations and manage them early. 

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Prehypertension is a stage before hypertension, where you are at risk of developing high blood pressure. 
  • In prehypertension, your systolic blood pressure (top number) ranges from 120 to 139 mm Hg, and your diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) ranges from 80 to 89 mm Hg. 
  • A number of factors can contribute to prehypertension such as having a family history of hypertension, unhealthy food habits, and lifestyle choices. 
  • Typically you will not experience any symptoms with prehypertension.
  • A healthy diet and lifestyle modifications will help you manage prehypertension and prevent the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading cardiologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate BP monitors and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Hypertension Management program which provides ‎360º care. Let’s treat low/high blood pressure problems together.

Frequently Asked Questions

A blood pressure range of 130/100 mm Hg can indicate prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension. This puts you are at risk of developing high blood pressure. Therefore, you need to consult a doctor and take the necessary precautions.

Anxiety or stressful conditions can lead to a temporary spike in your blood pressure which returns to normal once your mind is relaxed.

Unfortunately, hypertension cannot be reversed. However, with lifestyle changes and medications, the condition can be managed well.

There is no one best time to measure your blood pressure. Ideally, you can monitor your blood pressure several times a day. A common practice is to measure it twice a day. Once in the morning before food and medications and the second time in the evening.

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Place one hand just below your ribs and the other on your chest. Now breathe in deeply, making sure that the hand on your ribs is rising (this ensures that you are breathing deep from your stomach). Hold your breath for a few seconds, and let it out slowly through your mouth. Repeat for 5 minutes and as necessary throughout the day.

2. 30-second breathing exercise: 

Sit down in a comfortable position. Take in a deep breath while counting to four. Hold your breath till the count of four. Exhale slowly while counting to four. Repeat for 30 seconds and as necessary throughout the day.

3. Alternate nostril breathing: 

Sit down in a comfortable position with your back straight and legs crossed. Use your thumb to press down and close your right nostril. Take a deep breath in through your left nostril and hold it in. Now press down on your left nostril with your fingers and exhale through your right nostril. Alternate and repeat for 5 minutes and as necessary throughout the day.

Prehypertension typically has no symptoms. Therefore the only way to diagnose it is during routine health check-ups. You can also monitor your blood pressure at home. 

The 4 stages of hypertension are:

  • Normal (< 120/80 mm Hg)
  • Elevated or Prehypertension (120-139/ 80-89 mm Hg)
  • Hypertension stage 1 (140-159/ 90-99 mm Hg)
  • Hypertension stage 2 ( 160/100 mm Hg or higher)

Dr. Pakhi Sharma
Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBS
(General physician, 6+ years)
An expert in obstetrics and medical emergencies, Dr. Pakhi Sharma, an alumni of Sri Devaraj Urs University of Higher Education and Research Centre, is a general physician working at Phablecare. She has 6+ years of work experience spread across gynaecology and obstetrics, family medicine, and medical emergencies at renowned hospitals and clinics.

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