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May is national high blood pressure education month


Although, Covid 19 has gathered more attention we can’t neglect our regular health. May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. High blood pressure also called Hypertension, can cause stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, eye abnormalities, and vascular dementia to name a few. Since blood pressure affects everything in your body, it is important to know what blood pressure is, and what does a normal blood pressure look like. According to the National Institute of Health or NIH, blood pressure is when blood is pumped by the heart through the body via the arteries and returns to the heart via the veins. Blood pressure is considered high when it does this at a higher than usual rate or must exert more of a force through the heart. There are 2 numbers we reference for blood pressure, the systolic and the diastolic. These numbers are often seen as BP- x/y where x is the systolic number and y is the diastolic number. Normal blood pressure for adults are usually less than 120/80. However, this is more specific when talking to your primary care provider and based on your health needs. You should have your blood pressure checked yearly by a primary care provider. Since high blood pressure or hypertension is referred to as the "silent killer", this is the safest and most effective way to screen. There are many things that can affect your blood pressure also your blood pressure will fluctuate throughout the day and throughout your lifetime. Here below are few things that may affect your blood pressure.


Things that can affect blood pressure

Age

Genetics

Lack of sleep

Dehydration

Stress

Smoking, alcohol and/or drugs

Being overweight

High Fat and high salt diet

Diabetes

Pain

Lack of exercise

Things you may do for a normal blood pressure

Get at least 8 hours of sleep

Maintain a normal weight or BMI

Exercise such as walking at least 3 to 5 times a week. Decrease fast foods from diet.

Avoid smoking, alcohol or drugs

Decrease salts from diet, don’t use table salt. Cook with other herbs. Use the DASH diet https://healthyeating.nhlbi.nih.gov/

Use good fats to cook with such as Extra Virgin Olive oil, also broil or bake foods.

Keep your pain under control, use proper body mechanics, stretch daily. Use alternative methods for pain relief if needed.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, unless contraindicated by an underlying condition.

Try things to reduce stress such as yoga, meditation, music or things that relax you.

Medications for blood pressure are also given if lifestyle changes are not helping. They are life saving and needed for so many people. They will be adjusted according to your need.

Remember, maintaining a normal blood pressure is key to maintaining a normal and high functioning life. The above goals are not just something that you reach once and forget about it. They are meant for lifelong aspirations and goals. Some people really struggle with the above things and during such stressful period in our culture it is understandable to get off track. But you can always find your self back on the right path. We are here to help you if you are still struggling or need to assistance with your health. Make an appointment at www.hhctelehealth.com.

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ or for more specific information on high blood pressure https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-pressure

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