Do you have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is a serious health issue that must be managed in order to prevent cardiovascular and kidney disorders. Here’s how to prevent and detect symptoms of this disease.
What is high blood pressure?
The pressure applied by your blood to the walls of your arteries is your blood pressure. This pressure varies throughout the day. Physical activity, stress and emotions can naturally impact your blood pressure without becoming a health problem. But when this pressure is always on the rise, without ever coming back down, you start becoming more at risk of developing cardiovascular disorders. Many people with high blood pressure show no symptoms.
What causes this disease?
We often don’t know. Old age and family history increase the risk of developing it, as do certain lifestyle habits such as:
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Tobacco use
- High quantities of salt in your diet
- Physical inactivity
Complications when the disease is undiagnosed
When high blood pressure is not diagnosed, it can cause several health complications such as general heart problems, heart attacks, angina and atherosclerosis.
People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop:
- Heart failure:
When the heart is too weak to pump blood to the various organs in the body, many anomalies can occur such as organ failure or the accumulation of liquid in the lungs.
- Brain issues:
People can suffer from a cerebral hemorrhage, thrombosis (blood clots) or even bleed from the retina.
- Cerebrovascular accident (stroke):
The primary symptoms include noticeable changes such as a drooping face, the inability to lift both arms normally or trouble speaking.
- Kidney issues:
Many kidney problems can appear over time. Some of the milder ones will not cause any symptoms. Other issues such as chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, however, are a lot more serious.
Treatment after diagnosis
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe antihypertensive medication to reduce your levels. This way, the illness is adequately managed and you can lead a normal life. You are less likely to develop any complications.
Solutions to help reduce the risk of having high blood pressure
Luckily, you can improve your health by making changes to your lifestyle habits. Adopt healthy lifestyle habits to reduce the risks.
1. Drink alcohol in moderation
Reduce your beer, wine or hard liquor consumption and you will also reduce the likelihood of having high blood pressure. Avoid alcohol if your triglycerides levels are high or if you suffer from untreated diabetes.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Eat less processed or sugary foods that are loaded with sodium and carbs such as frozen or prepared meals. Eat more fruits and vegetables and integrate good fats, such as olive oil, into your diet.
3. Be more active
Make more time in your day for physical activity. For example, you can go for a walk after dinner or take the stairs more often. It is recommended that you are active for at least 30 minutes a day.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Overweight people are more likely to get high blood pressure. The two previous items can help control weight.
5. Take your medication every day
It’s very important to follow the doctor’s prescription to avoid any setbacks.
6. Quit smoking
Tobacco products also cause high blood pressure. Ask a health care professional to help you stop smoking.
7. Get a better grip on stress
Better daily stress management can help control blood pressure. Meditation, yoga and swimming can help you better cope with stressful moments.
How do you know if you have high blood pressure?
Your doctor can easily tell if you have high blood pressure during your next check-up. Blood pressure shouldn’t be above 140/90 mm Hg for healthy people or 130/80 mm Hg for diabetics.
If you think you may have high blood pressure, consult a healthcare professional. If you do, you can manage it with the right medication and a few changes to your lifestyle.
You can also check your blood pressure the next time you’re at the pharmacy on their monitor!