High blood pressure, hypertension, or “the silent killer” affects approximately 1 in 3 people in the United States and about 1/3 of those don’t even know they have it. If your blood pressure is higher than 130/80 you very likely might have it. The only way to know for sure is to go to your doctor and get checked out.
The reason so many people don’t know they have it is because it can have little to no symptoms until it has progressed or hasn’t been treated for a while. This is why it is always good to get checked out by your doctor at a yearly visit, ESPECIALLY if you have a close family member or family history of high blood pressure.
Some of the most common symptoms include(but are not limited to):
As I mentioned before, you will not always experience any of these before a massive medical incident such as a stroke or heart attack. It is ALWAYS best to check with your doctor.
Since about 1/3 of people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it, than means than it is untreated and they are more likely to experience some very negative effects of it being untreated.
These can include:
First and foremost, go see your doctor and get checked out. This will let you know where you are at with your blood pressure and what the next steps are than you need to take.
Quit smoking. Literally just stop. Nothing good comes from it. It burns a hole in your pocket and can give you a whole list of negative side effects including diseases such as high blood pressure.
Make sure you are eating healthy. Lower your salt intake and make sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables each day. One that many people are not going to like to hear is limit your alcohol intake. Yes, red wine can be beneficial due to antioxidants and such, but consuming more than 4 ounces several times a week tips the scales so than it is no longer beneficially consumed.
Exercise at least 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes. This can be as simple as walking around your block a couple times to going hiking or to the gym. IF you need low impact exercise look for water aerobics in your area or look up low-impact exercises to do at home. Yoga is a great one and one of my personal favorites.
This one may not be as common sense as many think, but try to reduce your stress. Yes, we all have stress, and we all try to deal with it as best we can. Life is stressful, but when you have prolonged extreme stress is where it gets harmful to you physical body. Try to take 10 min every day to just sit and think of what you are grateful for in your life. Even if all you can come up with is than you have a roof over your head, clothes on your body, and food on your table. A little goes a long way.
You went to the doctor, and you found out than you have high blood pressure. Now what do you do?
First thing is first, follow the doctors directions. You might be prescribed medication to help control your condition, make sure you take it. Before you start any exercise or diet regime, run it by the doctor first. The doctor should always be part of your team to achieve and maintain a healthy life.
Do not feel alone! Around 1/3 of everyone in the USA has high blood pressure. The likelihood than you know several people who have it is very high so reach out to people. They might be able to recommend courses of action to take, foods to try, doctors to see, exercises to do together, and so on.
No of course not. As with any disease, early detection is great and extremely helpful to try to prevent some really bad stuff from happening, but prevention is always the best course.
Eat than extra serving of vegetables instead of dessert. Take than spin class you’ve heard so much about. Go out with your friends on their weekly hike. Make sure to pack lots of healthy snacks.
You are in charge of your own life, and your life is going to be what you make of it. Yes temptation is always going to be there, and I personally believe than it is alright to indulge once in a while. Overall it’s best for you and your body to lead a mostly healthy lifestyle. That way you are around for many adventures and experiences.
Always consult your doctor before changing your diet or exercise routine and please make sure you get your yearly checkups. If your have any questions or comments, please leave them below. We love to hear from you!