Stage 1 hypertension is marked by systolic blood pressure between 140 and 159 and diastolic pressure between 90 and 99, according to Everyday Health. The systolic number is the top number on a blood pressure score, and the diastolic pressure is the bottom number.
If a patient has blood pressure results indicating stage 1 hypertension, the doctor recommends a series of lifestyle changes. These include weight loss, a diet low in fat and sodium, daily exercise, not smoking and minimizing alcohol consumption. In many cases, these changes effectively reduce blood pressure, bringing it back closer to, if not under, the normal threshold, which is a systolic blood pressure at or below 120 and a diastolic blood pressure at or below 80, as stated by Everyday Health.
In most cases, patients with stage 1 hypertension also start taking medications. These frequently start with a thiazide-type diuretic. The purpose of a diuretic is to help the body flush extra sodium and fluids, which helps to lower blood pressure. In most cases, diuretics are inexpensive, have few unpleasant side effects and work relatively quickly. Because high blood pressure does not present with any symptoms, it's important to have regular blood pressure tests, reports Everyday Health.