High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a chronic disease that accounts for 15% of deaths each year in the United States. This makes it one of the leading causes of death and has resulted in the proliferation of the disease being labeled an epidemic. Despite its serious implications, what makes hypertension even more dangerous is the fact that many people living with the disease do not continuously monitor it to ensure that it is kept in check.
Blood pressure monitoring is highly important for people with hypertension, as the disease is a major risk factor for other serious health conditions. It can result in strokes, heart attacks, kidney damage and other interferences that could result in death. In fact, high blood pressure is known as the ‘silent killer’ due to the fact that it rarely produces any symptoms and often presents itself when things have already gotten way out of hand. That is why hypertension sufferers should ensure they are continuously monitoring their blood pressure levels, complementary to their blood pressure treatment.
How to monitor high blood pressure
In addition to getting regular checkups, which involves your doctor using a machine to test your blood pressure levels, home blood pressure monitoring should also be considered. There are many commercially available blood pressure monitors that can be bought at pharmacies, in health stores or even online. These can be used to accurately measure systolic and diastolic pressure at any time. There are even different variants, including the traditional type – similar to what doctors have – and those that can be strapped to the wrist.
Home monitoring has been proven to be effective in backing up blood pressure treatment by helping patients to find out their blood pressure levels at any time. This can save your life by signaling you to calm down, take medication and/or visit the doctor if it is that your blood pressure is elevated significantly. You should choose a monitor that you are most comfortable using and ensure that it is passed by the relevant regulating bodies, such as the USDA.
High blood pressure, also referred to as Hypertension in medical circles, is quite a rampant disease, affecting millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, it is believed that more than 33% of all adults are living with the disease. However, while that statistic might seem scary, it is important to note that most people who have it are not aware, since high blood pressure rarely presents any symptoms. In fact, the chronic disease has been labeled the ‘silent killer’ as it has killed many people who had no idea that they had it.
On the flip side, there are many who know they have it but do not treat it effectively. With high blood pressure being a risk factor for other dangerous diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, learning how to treat it should be high priority for those with it and those who have a predisposition. Do you fall in either category? Here are 3 things you should be doing in order to treat high blood pressure effectively:
1. Eat properly: High blood pressure can be alleviated from a change in lifestyle, such as eating properly. Many doctors recommend the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) eating plan to people with hypertension. This plan focuses on foods that are considered to be healthy, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. In addition to eating more of these kinds of foods, you should reduce salt intake, fatty and oily foods.
2. Exercise: A sedentary lifestyle is one of the main risk factors for developing hypertension and can cause it to worsen. Exercising helps to boost the metabolic rate, reduces stress and helps to lower cholesterol, all of which can lower the impact of the disease.
3. Take your medication: Your doctor will prescribe the most appropriate range of medication to suit the kind of hypertension that you have. It is up to you to ensure that you are taking them on time and at the appropriate dosages. Not taking your medication, or not following the instructions, can make the condition worse.
At some point in your life, you must have heard the time ‘high blood pressure’. With the disease being so prevalent, chances are, you know at least one human being living with or who has died from it. However, do you know what it means to have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is literally the force of the blood against the arteries being higher than it should be. In other words, the force of your blood is putting more pressure on your arteries than it should. As your heart beats, the pressure goes up and when your heart rests between beats, it goes down. These two pressures are known as systolic and diastolic pressures respectively and are used to determine how high or low your blood pressure is. When your systolic and diastolic pressures go beyond 120/80, you are considered hypertensive but you’re not diagnosed as having high blood pressure until it reaches 140/90 or higher.
What is the cause?
High blood pressure is identified as a lifestyle disease for the most part, although a single specific cause cannot be pinpointed for many people. In other cases, hypertension can be a result of another medical problem, pregnancy or may result from using certain medications. It is highly prevalent among people who are overweight, those who smoke, excessive drinkers and people who have bad eating habits.
What are the symptoms?
Known as the ‘silent killer’, high blood pressure rarely presents any noticeable symptoms. Instead, it often makes its presence felt when it results in other health problems, such as heart disease, strokes and other chronic ailments. As a result, there are more people living with the disease unknowingly than those who are aware. This is why it is among the leading cause of deaths in the US.
How is it treated?
Lifestyle changes are the main recommendations when it comes on to treating hypertension. These include following a healthy diet, exercising, quitting the smoking habit, reducing alcohol intake and finding ways to reduce stress. It also advisable to take all medications prescribed by the doctor.