Beating High Blood Pressure
How to keep it in check
“Up, Up and Away” may have been a hit song by The 5th Dimension in the ’60s, but you don’t want to hear your doctor using those words to describe your blood pressure. Yet nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, and about one-third don’t know it.
A SILENT KILLER
Sometimes called the silent killer because it often has no symptoms, high blood pressure can damage large and small blood vessels throughout the body. This increases the risk of many health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, eye damage, and dementia.
High blood pressure is a signal that your blood vessels are not healthy. If symptoms do occur, they may include morning headaches, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats, vision changes, and buzzing in the ears.
A CLOSER LOOK
Blood pressure measurements show how hard your blood pushes against the walls of your arteries. It’s normal for the pressure to go up and down during the day. But if it stays too high for too long, it’s called hypertension—or simply high blood pressure.
Blood pressure readings have two numbers measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The upper larger number (systolic) is the pressure when the heart beats. The lower smaller number (diastolic) is the pressure when the heart rests and fills between beats.
You should have your blood pressure checked by a healthcare provider at least once a year. The American Heart Association has identified several categories for high blood pressure.
* Consult your doctor immediately!
WHAT INCREASES RISK?
Risk factors for high blood pressure include:
Lifestyle – Eating unhealthy food, being overweight, not exercising, drinking alcohol or caffeine, and smoking are the leading causes of high blood pressure.
Age – With an unhealthy lifestyle, blood vessels often thicken and stiffen over time. So blood pressure increases with age. About nine out of ten Americans will develop high blood pressure during their lifetime, but this is not normal.
Sex – Before age 60, men are more likely to have high blood pressure. After age 60, women are at higher risk. Overall, women and men are equally likely to develop this condition.
Heredity – High blood pressure often runs in families.
Race – Black Americans tend to develop high blood pressure more often than other ethnicities and at an earlier age.
Blood Pressure Category
Less than 120
Less than 80
120 - 129
Less than 80
High stage 1
130 - 139
80 - 90
High stage 2
140 or higher
90 or higher
Higher than 180
Higher than 120
High blood pressure can often be lowered just by changing your diet and lifestyle.
TIPS TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
Following these tips will also reduce your risk of many other serious health conditions:
These lifestyle changes can often control blood pressure and avoid the potential and unwanted side effects of medications. However, if your blood pressure remains too high, medications may be needed.
HOW NOT TO DIE FROM HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for death in the world. Don’t let it harm your health and vision. If you are serious about preventing and reversing high blood pressure, medical science has proof of what works best. This short video may surprise you!
Possible Vision Loss
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