Hypertension, better known as high blood pressure, is a common disease that can be very dangerous if not treated. Unfortunately, someone with hypertension may show no warning signs and symptoms. Therefore, it has become known as the silent killer. Those with high blood are at risk for strokes, heart attacks, metabolic syndrome, memory problems, and aneurysms. If you or someone you know is diagnosed with the condition, it’s important to minimize stress levels and become knowledgeable about the condition.
Who Gets Hypertension?
High blood pressure, like many other chronic conditions, can be hereditary. So, it’s very important to know your family’s medical history. Having a genetic predisposition does not mean all family members will have high blood pressure, but it does increase the risk. Other risk factors that can lead to hypertension include age, health conditions, and lifestyle habits.
What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Hypertension?
There are some things that can be done to prevent hypertension, or at least postpone its onset. Here are a few:
- Eat a healthy diet which includes:
- Fresh fruits
- Low sodium (salt) foods
- Foods high in potassium (bananas, cooked spinach and broccoli, potatoes, peas, eggplant, sweet potatoes, mushrooms)
- Lean meat and fish
- Minimize stress levels with meditation, relaxation, and regular exercise
- Don’t smoke
- Limit alcohol intake
- Limit caffeine intake
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink plenty of water
If practicing healthy lifestyle habits is not helping manage your hypertension, your doctor may prescribe medication. Take any blood pressure medications exactly as prescribed, and never cut back or stop taking your pills without consulting with your doctor. Decreasing your dosage can lead to increased blood pressure, which can lead to a stroke.
Interested in learning more about family health, read HHER’s blogs on staying healthy during the holiday eating and the benefits of exercise at different ages.