By Aldo Guevara, MD and Nena Korunda, MD, FACP Korunda Medical Institute –
Did you know that if you are over the age of 20, you could be part of the 65 million Americans who suffer from high blood pressure? That is about one in three adults in the United States. Why should we be concerned? Each year, high blood pressure, also called hypertension, takes the lives of almost 60,000 Americans. Sadly, the rate of death from high blood pressure increased nearly 30 percent in the last decade alone. This ‘silent killer’ has become an epidemic among nearly all ethnicities, genders and age groups.
High Blood Pressure… What is it?
What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is basically the force pushing on the arteries by your blood as it passes through them. Someone with high blood pressure has blood that is putting higher than normal pressure on the arteries. This puts more stress on the body. Hence, the heart has to work so hard to get the blood pumped through those arteries that it can actually enlarge and damage the heart, eventually causing a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm and other heart problems if left untreated. High blood pressure can be deadly if left untreated.
How is Blood Pressure Scored?
Testing your blood pressure is extremely quick and simple. The actual measuring of blood pressure is done with the help of a blood pressure cuff, which most people are familiar with. It is highly recommended that you get your blood pressure checked immediately if you think you suffer from high blood pressure. Unfortunately, there are no symptoms for high blood pressure, hence the name ‘silent killer’. Once tested you will receive two numbers.
Simply put, your blood pressure is measured as one number “over” another number, such as 120/80. The top number is your systolic pressure or the measure of the blood pressure while the heart is beating. The bottom number is your diastolic pressure or the pressure when the heart is at rest.
For those of you unsure of what blood pressure ranges are; here are the numbers for what is usually considered “normal,” as well as prehypertension and hypertension.
- Normal (less than 120 over less than 80)
- Prehypertension (120-139 over 80-89)
- Stage One (140-159 over 90-99)
- Stage Two (160 or higher over 100 or higher)
If your blood pressure does not clearly fall into one of these categories, the higher number is the decisive number to be considered when determining if you should seek medical advice.
Treating & Preventing High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a medical condition which may be underestimated by those who have it. Some may feel as if their blood pressure will reduce on its own or that perhaps it isn’t as bad as the doctor claims it is. While high blood pressure is a serious health problem, there is good news. No matter what your age or physical condition, there are things you can do to prevent or lower high blood pressure. Here are some easy natural ways to manage high blood pressure daily:
Monitor your blood pressure every day. One of the most important ways to manage your high blood pressure each day is to monitor it on a daily basis. When you know exactly what your blood pressure is doing, you will be able to see which daily health strides you’re taking are working (or not working) and plan any alterations in your schedule to fix your high blood pressure.
Eat mindfully. The next way to properly manage your high blood pressure is to eat the right things each day. Limit your salt intake and make sure that vegetables make it to your plate every meal. When planning meals remember this: grains are great, fruits are fabulous and vegetables are vivacious! It is also important to limit daily consumption of alcohol. When you exhibit the proper eating habits you can have a good chance at lowering your blood pressure and getting it back within the proper limits.
Exercise and keep your weight in check. You should also try to exercise each day without overdoing it and make sure that you take the necessary steps to lose weight in a healthy manner. When you exercise and stay fit you will find that your blood pressure lowers and that you start to feel better overall.
Managing high blood pressure doesn’t have to be a burdensome task. Taking these simple steps listed above and consulting with your doctor, you will be able to put your blood pressure level right back where it belongs and get on with living your life in a healthy, relaxed way. If you or a loved one suffers this devastating disease please continue to educate yourself and take action TODAY!
Korunda Medical Insitute
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