Could You be at Risk for High Blood Pressure?
What It is and How to Prevent Complications
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Growing up, your parents and teachers likely placed a strong emphasis on keeping your heart healthy. Eating greens and refraining from fatty meats are methods that are commonly stressed when it comes to keeping our circulatory systems in tip top shape. Smoking is also a major “no-no” when keeping health in check. As long as you do these things, you’re safe. If anything inside does go awry, you’re likely to know about it sooner than later, right? The experts say otherwise. No matter how in tune you are with your health, there could be a “silent killer” at bay. It’s called high blood pressure.
What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is when the force pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is too high. When your heart beats, it creates two forces of systolic and diastolic pressure. This is the blood pumping out of your heart and the pressure created in between beats. When bad cholesterols begin to build up in your arteries, blood flow becomes restricted, leading to high blood pressure. It’s estimated that 18% of men and 13% of women suffer from high blood pressure. In 90-95% of cases, there isn’t often an identifiable reason, though lifestyle and diet do have an effect.
How to Know if You Have It
While there are little to no symptoms of high blood pressure, blood spots in the eyes, dizziness, and facial flushing can happen. This is why it’s important to stay on top of medical visits and check in with your doctor about your medical history. Ask your mom or dad if there’s anyone in your family with high blood pressure, as causes could be genetic.
Take Preventative Action
Whether or not high blood pressure is part of your family tree, you should be taking steps to ensure your blood vessels have enough room to breathe. It may point back to the basic health codes first stated in childhood, but these methods still work! Here are some ways you can prevent high blood pressure.
Eat healthy-be sure to eat foods with less sodium and saturated fats. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great snack as opposed to potato chips. It all starts with what you put in your body.
Stay active and keep a healthy weight-this goes hand in hand with a healthy diet. It’s equally important to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. People who are on top of their eating and workout habits report lower cases of high blood pressure.
Don’t smoke and limit alcohol consumption-smoking raises blood pressure and increases your chances of a heart attack. It’s also advised that adults have no more than one to two alcoholic beverages per day.
Get your beauty sleep-sleep is key to ensuring your circulatory system is functioning properly. Not getting enough sleep is linked to heart disease. Don’t short yourself on rest!
If any part of your lifestyle is offbase, it may be time to do some maintenance. It’s always a good idea to continue improving your health habits, especially when high blood pressure is on the rise. Remember, you could be at risk anytime for the “silent killer.” Even if HBP doesn’t run in your family, it doesn’t mean you can’t develop it later through poor choices. Remember the basics of refraining from smoking, diet and exercise, and sleep, and that your middle school phys ed teachers were probably right. So get off the couch and lose the salty foods, do it for your health!
Concerned about your blood pressure or just want to check in regarding your lifestyle? We’d love to see you for an appointment! Our accommodating staff is eager to answer any questions you may have regarding your blood pressure. We can’t wait to assist you, call today!
14314 Old Marlboro Pike
Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County 20772
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