Managing Your Hypertension
You may commonly know hypertension as high blood pressure.Hypertension refers to a condition where the force of your blood pressing against your artery walls is to strong. This forces your heart to work harder to pump blood, and may cause arteries to become narrow or stiff. You should monitor your blood pressure and follow up with you primary care provider regularly.
Understanding a blood pressure reading
A complete blood pressure reading consist of a top number (systolic) and a bottom number (diastolic). Ideally, your blood pressure should be below 120/80. The first number is your systolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure in your arteries as your heart contracts pushing blood into your arteries. The second number is your diastolic pressure. This measure the pressure in your arteries as your heart relaxes.
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Health risk associated with Hypertension
Consult with your primary care provider to identify the proper treatment for you.
Uncontrolled hypertension can cause:
- Heart attack
- Weakened blood vessels known as Aneurisms
- Heart failure
- Kidney damage
- Eye damage
- Metabolic syndrome
- Memory and concentration problems
Changes you can make to manage your hypertension
Your primary care provider will help you create a plan of care to bring your blood pressure within normal range. You can help by making a few life and diet changes. Take all medications as prescribed by your primary care provider and consult with you primary care provider before engaging in any rigorous diet or exercise programs.
Here is a few life style changes and dietary habits you can change to assist:
Eating and drinking
Eat a diet that is high in fiber and potassium, and low in salt, added sugars and fats. One common diet is simply referred to as the DASH diet. (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension). Start by:
- Eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to have a serving of each with every meal.
- Eat whole grains, such as whole grain pasta, brown rice, or whole grain bread.
- Eat low-fat dairy products
- Eat lean proteins such as fish, chicken without the skin, beans, eggs, and tofu. Minimize conceptions of red meats and fatty meats.
- Avoid processed foods as they tend to be high in sodium (salt).
- Limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Discuss you plans with your primary care provider before engaging in any kind of rigorous exercise program. Work with your primary care provider to maintain a healthy body weight, or to lose weight. Ask what the ideal body weight is for you.
- Increase your activity level daily. Try to complete at least 30 minutes of activity that raises your heart rate such as walking, swimming or biking.
- Once ready, incorporate resistance exercises such as weight lifting, as part of your weekly routine. Try to do these excersises 3 times per week for minimum of 30 minutes each time.
- DO NOT use products that contain nicotine or tobacco.
- DO NOT use illegal drugs.
- Work with your primary care provider to manage chronic conditions such as Diabetes or high cholesterol.
If blood pressure medication has been prescribed by your primary care provider. Follow the instructions carefully, blood pressure medication must be taken exactly as prescribed.
As always, we are here to help! At NewEraHH (NEHH), we aim to provide education and make information easily accessible to our patients, families and communities. This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your primary care provider.
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