One-Third of Adults Have High Blood Pressure: Do You?

June 27, 2017
By Ariana Colozzo

High blood pressure, called hypertension, has become increasingly common—affecting about 85 million Americans. It’s a dangerous condition, even more so because it’s often symptomless.

Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the vessels as it flows throughout the body. If it’s consistently too high, it can damage them and the circulatory system as a whole. Called the “silent killer,” it leads to strokes, vision loss, heart attacks, heart failure or kidney disease if it’s not managed well.

Preventing and managing high blood pressure

The only way to know if you have high blood pressure it to get it checked. If your doctor does find elevated rates, it’s important to monitor your numbers. Many pharmacies have blood pressure machines for you to measure it yourself, and there are also many personal monitors available.

The most critical component of preventing high blood pressure is a healthy lifestyle. Once you’re diagnosed, proper management can reduce the risk of stroke and other serious cardiovascular disorders. Lower your risk of hypertension or complications by taking these steps:
•    Keep a healthy weight
•    Exercise at least 30 minutes a day
•    Eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and limit alcohol consumption
•    Reduce and manage stress
•    Quit smoking

What Are My Treatment Options?

In addition to healthy habits, there are a number of medications use to treat high blood pressure. Some of the effects of the different drugs include, helping your kidneys eliminate sodium and water from your bloodstream, relaxing blood vessels by blocking certain chemicals in the body and reducing nerve impulses that cause vessels to tighten.

Because there are so many different kinds, it’s vital your physician has correctly diagnosed your high blood pressure and comorbidies, and is taking all of that into account when developing an effective treatment plan. If you’re unsure, a second opinion is the best way to ensure your diagnosis and treatment are correct.

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