Is your blood pressure under control?

About 74 million Americans have hypertension and 50 million more are estimated to have prehypertension (mild elevation in blood pressure).  High blood pressure is easy to detect and it’s almost always treatable, but too few people actually know they even have high blood pressure.  That’s why it’s referred to as the “silent killer” because it typically produces no symptoms of its own.  Did you know that high blood pressure left undetected can seriously damage your heart?  Even if you have prehypertension 120-139/80-89 the time to act is now.  Education and prevention can keep you well…and perhaps even save your life.

The causes of prehypertension and hypertension are essentially the same:

  1. Being overweight or obese
  2. A lack of physical activity
  3. Smoking
  4. Gender does count – men are 30% more apt to have prehypertension
  5. Age is a factor – usually by age 50
  6. Genetics and race also make a difference

HBP often runs in families… African-Americans with prehypertension triple their risk of cardiovascular disease and for Caucasians it is doubled.  For most of us; all we have to do is be proactive, move our bodies regularly, care about the way we look and feel and when necessary control our high blood pressure with medication.  It’s not too complicated.

Be proactive to avoid or reduce having high blood pressure early on and you will most definitely prosper. With so much at stake, is it that difficult to lose a few pounds?  When you need help…there are plenty of trained professionals that will work with you.

Other practical steps include: restricting salt intake (be sure to stay away from processed foods and learn how to read food labels), if you smoke…get some help and quit, exercise regularly- you will definitely feel better ( 30 minutes most days), drinking moderately (duh), and many like to follow the DASH diet which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

By all means, whatever you do, be sure to check your blood pressure regularly so you CAN do something about it.  Don’t be a statistic and let the “silent killer” get you.  Take good care of yourself so you can stay around and let your family and friends enjoy you… while you enjoy them!  I heard a great comment today… “Enjoy the value of each day you’re alive.”

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