High Blood Pressure: Treat it, Prevent It
(BlackDoctor.org) — High blood pressure is a silent killer. It shows few to no symptoms and many people have it for years without knowing until more serious problems occur. Studies show Blacks are about 40 percent more likely than Whites to develop high blood pressure, or hypertension. If you have risk factors or a family history of high blood pressure, there are ways you can prevent the disease. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, there are ways to manage your high blood pressure to live a healthy life.
By adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can:
• Reduce high blood pressure
• Prevent or delay the development of HBP
• Enhance the effectiveness of blood pressure medications
• Lower your risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease
High Blood Pressure Prevention
More than 20 percent of people with high blood pressure are unaware of their condition. This silent disease has serious even fatal health consequences when gone untreated. If you have one of these risk factors talk to your doctor about mapping out a high blood pressure prevention plan:
• Overweight or obese
• Male over the age of 45
• Female over the age of 55
• A family history of high blood pressure
• Have prehypertension
• Suffer from certain chronic conditions including high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney disease and sleep apnea
Change your life and reduce your risks
If your resting blood pressure falls in the pre-hypertension range (systolic – top- number between 120 and 139 mm Hg OR diastolic – bottom – number between 80 and 89 mm Hg), your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes. Changing your lifestyle is important even if your blood pressure is normal and your focus is on prevention only.
To help prevent high blood pressure, there are changes you can make that are essential to protecting your health. These changes may reduce your blood pressure and help prevent serious problems. Lifestyle modifications include:
• Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in saturated fats, salt and sugar
• Regularly engaging in physical activity
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco
Embracing a healthy lifestyle is critical for the prevention of high blood pressure and is even more critical in managing the condition. These changes should be thought of as a medicine prescription. You must do them regularly and consistently.
Managing High Blood Pressure
Take medication if it is prescribed for you. If you are diagnosed with hypertension, your doctor will most likely prescribe medication in addition to a lifestyle modification plan. It is vital to your well-being to follow your doctor’s recommendations very carefully and take your medication as directed. There is no cure for high blood pressure. It is a lifelong disease, but you can successfully treat it and enjoy a healthy lifestyle if you follow your doctor’s requests.
Incorporate your treatment program into your daily routine. Once you have taking this step, maintaining a lower blood pressure is easier. Remember that by managing your blood pressure, you are lowering your risk of heart attack and blood vessel diseases, stroke and kidney disease. The earlier you start treatment the better.
After being diagnosed, managing blood pressure is a lifelong commitment. Listen to your doctor, stay informed about the disease, and live a heart-healthy lifestyle.