Living with Hypertension

Living with hypertension

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Living with High Blood Pressure

According to the Center for Disease Control about 1 of 3 U.S. adults or about 75 million (29%) people, have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension1. High blood pressure increases a one’s risk of kidney disease, heart attacks, and strokes. High blood pressure is sometimes called a ‘silent killer’, because it usually has no symptoms. The best way to monitor your blood pressure is to have it checked regularly and know what the numbers mean (see resources below).

Some Risk Factors that contribute to high blood pressure include2:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Eating too much salt in the diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • Having diabetes

What steps can be taken to help control high blood pressure?3

  • Get regular checkups and talk to your doctor about your blood pressure numbers and your personal blood pressure goal.
  • Check your blood pressure as directed regularly
  • Take medicine as directed — Your doctor can decide which medications are right for you. Once you’re on a medicine, take it as your doctor recommends even you may feel the same.  If you do have any side effects, don’t stop taking it without checking with your doctor.
  • Make Lifestyle Changes that include:
    • Eating a healthy diet that is low in salt (sodium), fat, and cholesterol.
    • Maintain a healthy weight — If you’re overweight, talk with your doctor about setting a realistic weight loss goal.
    • Decrease your alcohol intake and drink in moderation
    • Make physical activity a daily part of your life- talk with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program then choose an activity you enjoy.
    • If you smoke, quit smoking
    • Deal with stress and tension — Try walking, writing in a journal, meditation, relaxation techniques or yoga, and remember to laugh!
    • Get your family involved in your care plan

Take a look at these resources and videos to learn more about monitoring your blood pressure and hypertension:

 

For more information, talk to your medical provider.

Reference:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/index.htm 
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/risk_factors.htm 
  3. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/MakeChangesThatMatter/Changes-You-Can-Make-to-Manage-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_002054_Article.jsp 
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