Health Issues: How to Control High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure affects almost half of all adults in the United States, about 108 million people. Although hypertension is such a common illness, only about 24% of those diagnosed with the condition have it under control. Left untreated, hypertension can cause serious health issues.
These numbers might be shocking, but don’t worry just yet. If you suffer from high blood pressure, staying on top of your treatment can easily prevent further complications. Read on to learn how lifestyle changes and blood pressure medication can help keep your condition under control.
What Health Issues Does Hypertension Cause?
High blood pressure can be quite dangerous. Blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg can place you at greater risk for heart failure, vision loss, kidney failure, and more.
Not only is it dangerous, but hypertension is also likely to decrease your quality of life. It can lead to uncomfortable chronic conditions like erectile dysfunction and weak bones.
Controlling High Blood Pressure
Should you discover you have hypertension, there are a number of ways to keep your condition under control. Speak to your doctor to learn what’s best for you.
Although it can be hard to make changes to your diet or exercise plan, doing so can make all the difference. Eating foods that support heart health and engaging in regular cardio exercise can help prevent hypertension.
Weight loss is a great way to control your blood pressure. Obesity puts you at a much greater risk for hypertension because of the strain on the arteries.
Exercise has the dual benefit of contributing to weight loss and lowering blood pressure in and of itself. An exercise plan of 30 minutes per day can lower your blood pressure by up to 8 mmHg.
Healthy dieting is another great strategy. Decreasing your intake of foods high in sodium, saturated fats, and cholesterol can go a long way in controlling your blood pressure.
Another great treatment is to increase your potassium intake with foods like:
- Fruits, like bananas and melons
- Fish, like tuna and salmon
- Green veggies, like spinach and kale
- Nuts, seeds, and beans
Cutting down on alcohol consumption is another good idea. Stick to moderation and don’t consume more than one drink a day. Smoking is another vice you may want to think about giving up, since it also increases blood pressure.
Although lifestyle changes are often essential to treat hypertension, and they can help a lot, sometimes it isn’t quite enough. In these cases, your doctor will prescribe medication to help get the condition under control.
There are even services that will allow you to get medication delivered to your door, so you don’t have to worry about missing a single day.
Whether your doctor has recommended medication or not for your health issues, you can always benefit from making the healthy lifestyle changes discussed above.
Maintaining a healthy weight and a nutritious diet can go a long way in controlling your blood pressure. Check out our articles on weight loss for tips on getting to a healthy weight.