High Blood Pressure and What You Need to Know
According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 70 million American adults (29%) have high blood pressure, also called hypertension. That’s 1 of every 3 adults and only about half of people with hypertension have their condition under control. What more should we know?
Many of us are unsure what healthy blood pressure values are, let alone knowing when we see or hear values from our healthcare providers that may be concerning.
The CDC states that 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure do not even know they have it because there are usually no symptoms. It is estimated that more than 360,000 deaths occur each year in America due to high blood pressure. Regular physical exams by your physician are a good start, so your health care provider can check your blood pressure. Serious problems can happen as a result of high blood pressure, such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. Risk factors vary between individuals and some may have more than one risk factor.
High Blood Pressure Risk Factors:
- Family History
At different stages in life, hypertension can happen to more women than men, especially over the age of 65. Our chances also increase with too little activity in our daily lives. When little to no exercise is combined with an unhealthy diet we see an increase in weight. Even worse the risk for high blood pressure increases if we are considered obese. Lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol and leading a stressful life, can also influence our potential risks of high blood pressure. A major lifestyle choice we can make that greatly impacts keeping us in a healthier blood pressure zone is making good food choices.
Salt and High Blood Pressure
Being aware of your sodium intake is a vital step. The average American diet contains 3,400 milligrams per day but the dietary guidelines for Americans is to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams per day, which is equivalent to one teaspoon of salt. Sodium can be found and even hidden in many foods. Be aware of the sodium content in processed foods you are eating, or even better try and eliminate processed foods from your diet.
Make Good Choices and Take Charge!
Take care of yourself by making conscious decisions about the food you eat. Visit your healthcare professionals regularly for exams and blood pressure readings. Understanding the impact of high blood pressure is a great step toward making some changes that may help save you, or your loved ones, life.
Knowing how to measure blood pressure can be a valuable tool for everyone. You can learn to measure your own blood pressure and help your friends and loved ones monitor their blood pressure. Please enjoy our video on measuring blood pressure and help take charge of your life!