High blood pressure or hypertension affects African Americans more than any other ethnicity. In this condition, the pressure that your blood exerts on the arteries is too high and can lead to other health problems. The good news is that once you’ve been diagnosed, your doctor will advise you about all the changes you can make to live well with high blood pressure. Many of these tweaks to your lifestyle are easily managed and implemented.
1. Your Diet Will Be Different
Even if you’re diet isn’t that bad, it doesn’t mean you’re eating what’s best for your current condition. Doctors recommend cutting down on salty and highly processed foods. High-fiber foods, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats are your best bet. People who are interested in a complete change could look into the DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet.
2. You’ll Need To Take Your Medication Faithfully
The exact medications your doctor might prescribe will depend on your symptoms as well as any other chronic conditions you’re dealing with. However, these are likely to include diuretics to control how your body gets rid of water and sodium, ACE inhibitors and ARBs to relax blood vessels, and calcium channel blockers that keep your heart rate low.
3. The Right Exercise Program Is Essential
Physical activity will play a key role in being healthy with hypertension. This is especially true if your weight is a factor in the condition. Depending on your fitness level, it’s best to find the exercises that work for you so you can stick to them. Some options are swimming, hiking, taking brisk walks, and cycling.
4. You May Need To Monitor Your Blood Pressure At Home
Once you’ve been diagnosed, you may not have regular doctor’s visits. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a machine you can use at home to monitor your blood pressure. Doing this can allow you to track trends with your readings and give you useful data to pass on to your doctor if you’re not feeling well.
5. Changing Symptoms Matter
Though you may follow your medical regimen properly, things can change. New or worsening symptoms can be a sure sign of that. Sometimes the medication you take becomes less effective, so your doctor will have to change it. In other cases, prolonged high blood pressure can damage organs such as the heart and the kidneys, so make sure to tell your doctor if anything is different.
6. Your Doctor Might Keep Carrying Out Tests
As mentioned previously, high blood pressure can affect other organs too. To make sure you aren’t developing heart issues or chronic kidney disease, your doctor may recommend scheduled blood tests to make sure you’re still healthy. If there’s a problem, you’ll be able to tackle them early.
7. Any Differences In Your Status Are Important
It’s important to note that your medical regimen can change if your health status does. That means you should tell your doctor if you contract