Information About High Blood Pressure
Approximately 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, which is a serious condition that can lead to damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes and brain. The condition is characterized by having blood pressure greater than 140 over 90 mmHG (millimeters of mercury). If your blood pressure is 120-139/80-89 mmHG, you have pre-hypertension, and should take steps now to decrease your blood pressure so you do not get hypertension.
Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
Pre-hypertension, diabetes and an unhealthy lifestyle can increase a person’s chances of developing high blood pressure. Smoking tobacco, eating foods high in sodium and/or low in potassium, being inactive and/or obese, and drinking too much alcohol are all unhealthy lifestyle habits that could lead to high blood pressure. With that being said, for many people, the cause of high blood pressure is unknown, and could come from many sources.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is sometimes referred to as a “silent killer” because it has few or no symptoms, and many people do not realize they have it until it is too late. Symptoms of high blood pressure that do exist, however, include headaches, (particularly pounding ones), lack of energy and damage to the arteries that can cause heart disease, strokes, kidney disease and impotence. Because some of the symptoms of high blood pressure are actually lethal, it is important to check your blood pressure regularly to make sure you are healthy. That way, a treatment program can be started right away to help reduce your odds of having a stroke or heart attack.
High Blood Pressure Treatment Options
First and foremost, it is best that you discuss high blood pressure treatment options with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that is right for you. High blood pressure treatment can be as simple as taking a 30-minute walk every day to taking prescribed medications. Whether you start exercising more or skip on the sodium, taking active and healthy steps can lower your blood pressure. If these healthy lifestyle habits do not do the trick, your doctor may prescribe medication such as beta-blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and/or diuretics.
Living with High Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure should encourage you to live a healthier live. Otherwise, the alternative is a lack of blood flow to your heart, kidneys, legs and eyes, which could cause heart failure, kidney failure, leg amputation and/or blindness. Now that is reason to get up and get moving! You can manage your hypertension, or lower it, by losing weight, exercising regularly, eating potassium-rich foods such as bananas, and checking your blood pressure regularly at home. Research the DASH diet to treat your hypertension, and learn how to stress less. Listening to classical music and meditation can actually lower blood pressure as well.
You do not have to be one of the 68 million Americans with high blood pressure. Recognizing the symptoms of high blood pressure and knowing all about high blood pressure treatment can help you either catch the condition early or eliminate it before it causes true damage to your body. Start living healthier today to lower your blood pressure.