High blood pressure is a common condition people are suffering from, and if left untreated it can endanger the patient’s life. The American Heart Association released new statistics stating that more than 103 million US adults are facing this health disease. The conclusion is that half of the US adults are affected by high blood pressure. Dr. Paul Munter, the co-chair of the group behind the AHA’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics stated that because of the increased life expectancy and the ageing of people, it’s expected even more to deal with it in the future.
Hypertension affects 30% of the adults worldwide being the main factor leading to cardiovascular-disease related deaths. Cardiovascular health issuers are the main factor causing death around the world. In the USA, heart disorders are the leading factor and stroke the number five one.
How can we define high blood pressure?
You may have heard this medical term hundreds of time, but you have no idea what condition it describes. Your organs and tissues need oxygenated blood to function, and your circulatory system provides it. Every beat of the heart generates pressure that sends the blood through the arteries. Blood pressure is essential for the human body to survive. You will also find the condition under the name of hypertension and it happens when your blood pressure forces the walls of the arteries because it’s too high.
Hypertension appears when the force of the blood is so high it can disrupt the artery walls. You need to regularly check it to identify any sign pointing to it.
- More than 140/90 is too high.
- When suffering from kidney issues or diabetes the blood pressure is around 130/80.
- A single high reading is not a symptom of hypertension.
- A doctor should confirm the condition before starting the treatment.
So how can you keep it under control?
Once the doctor diagnoses you with high blood pressure, you need to change your lifestyle to manage and improve your condition. Here is how.
Strategy 1 – adopt a better diet
When overweight the specialist will advise you to lose weight. It will lower your high blood pressure. If you have a healthy weight, you can still improve your eating habits. For example, you can adopt the DASH diet, specially created for patients dealing with hypertension. This eating plan recommends adding to your diet more whole grains and vegetables, and removing sweetened food and fatty aliments.
Ask your doctor if you should consume probiotics because studies have shown that gut bacteria can lower blood pressure.
Strategy 2 – Get rid of stress
Yes, stress is part of our daily life. When dealing with a heart condition managing it seems the best solution to prevent heart disease. Stress is one of the main factors causing hypertension so you should find some management methods to manage it. Spending time outdoors, practising yoga, listening to relaxing music, and meditation are only some great ways to fight stress. Choose the one effective for you.
Regular sauna sessions can lower your blood pressure. Studies show that the patients enjoying it for around 5 times a week are 50% less likely to suffer from hypertension than non-sauna patients are.
Strategy 3 – Correct treatment
Sometimes having healthy eating habits, the right weight, and low levels of stress is not enough, you also have to take medication to control your health problem. For your health take the medication as the doctor prescribes. The specialist knows best what treatment functions for you, so you should not try to self-medicate. Always ask for their opinion when looking for alternatives.
Strategy 4 – Check your blood pressure regularly
Do not wait until your next doctor visit to check your blood pressure. Research shows that the patients who check their blood pressure at home have lower chances to suffer from hypertension. Why? they are committed to improving their lives, and any high number will alarm them, and they will take measures to lower it. It’s recommended to buy a reliable blood pressure cuff to monitor it at home. After purchasing it, take it to the doctor to check if it’s correctly calibrated.
Other quick tips to control hypertension:
- Ask your family to help you create a health plan
- Do not drink more than one ounce of alcohol daily
- Stop smoking
- Go to regular check-ups
Hypertension is a silent disorder so does it have any symptoms?
It’s difficult to say if you are suffering from high blood pressure because most of the times this condition shows no signs. The most common high blood pressure symptoms are vision changes and headaches. Some other signs are:
- Chest pain
- Blood in urine
- Difficulty breathing
- Pounding in ears, neck or chest
When experiencing any of the above symptoms you should contact a doctor to diagnose the issue. Untreated hypertension can cause complex health problems like eye disorders, heart disease, kidney failure or strokes.
Are there any factors that cause hypertension?
Doctors state that regularly it’s difficult to say what the cause of hypertension for a patient is. But certain factors can increase the risk of the disorder. Here they are:
- The patients are suffering from chronic kidney disease
- Men are more likely to experience it
- Oral contraceptives
- Alcohol abuse
- Lack of exercise
- Extra weight
- Seniors are at a high risk of suffering from hypertension
- African people are more likely to deal with high blood pressure
- Family history of hypertension
If you are wondering if hypertension is a serious health problem, the answer is YES. Do everything you can to prevent it, and treat it accordingly once diagnosed. You can control it if you change your diet, do more exercise and follow your doctor’s pieces of advice. By managing it, you prevent suffering from related health problems. Under the supervision of a specialist, you can control it and live a normal life.