Four Things Everybody Should Know about Hypertension

In the United States, nearly 50% of adults have hypertension –the medical term for high blood tension.

According to the CDC less than one in four people with hypertension has their condition under control.

Most people with high blood pressure have misconceptions about the condition and its management .

Four things you should know about hypertension.

Don’t Underestimate High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure usually presents with no symptoms or warning signs. Many people don’t know they have it. Hypertension can be underestimated because it doesn’t show any obvious symptoms.

High blood pressure puts strain on the heart and blood vessels. This can cause a heartattack, stroke, kidney damage, and other serious health issues.

Hypertension was the primary cause or a contributing factor in more than 670,000 deaths that occurred in the United States by 2020.

Hypertension is a life-threatening and serious condition.

The Blood Pressure Reading is a Snapshot

The blood pressure is measured by two numbers: the systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number).

Blood pressure less than 120/80mmHg

* High blood pressure Is 120-129/less than 80 mmHg

Stage 1 Hypertension is 130-139 / 80-89 mmHg

Hypertension Stage 3

Remember that your blood-pressure is not a fixed number. It can fluctuate throughout the day depending on factors such as stress, activity, diet and medication. The level can be raised more than normal due to nervousness in a doctor’s or hospital office.

Hypertension is not necessarily diagnosed by a single reading of high blood pressure. Multiple readings at different times are required to diagnose hypertension.

Your Diet Influences Your Blood Pressure

While uncontrollable factors like age and genetics may contribute to hypertension development, lifestyle and diet choices can play a major role.

Clinical research has shown a consistent correlation between red meat (and processed meats as well) and high blood tension. This may be due to the cholesterol and saturated fat content of meat, which can contribute to atherosclerosis–hardening of the arteries.

Salt (sodium) is another major contributor to high blood tension. Salt makes your body retain more water. This leads to a higher blood volume, and higher blood pressure.

You Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can be controlled and prevented in most cases.

The DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet are two diets that can lower blood pressure. These diets both emphasize eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains while minimizing, or completely avoiding, red meat, processed foods, manufactured junk food, and sugary beverages.

Exercise is also a key factor in lowering blood-pressure. According to health guidelines, you should exercise at least 150 minutes per week.

If lifestyle modifications are not enough to bring your blood pressure down to a healthy range, medication will likely be required.

You and your doctor can work together to determine the best medication and management strategy for you.

The lower the blood pressure you have, the less likely you are to develop hypertension and related health problems.

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