Learning About High Blood Pressure
What do you know about blood pressure? Most American’s are blind to how common high blood pressure is. It affects everyone, men, women, children, and teenagers. One of the numbers that count when you go to the doctor is blood pressure. It’s important to periodically check the numbers and make sure you are not high.
One out of 3 adults has high blood pressure. I am one of these people. When I read that statistic, while researching blood pressure I was a bit blown away how common having high blood pressure truly is. 70 million of us have this chronic condition. Half of us have it under good control. Thankfully I am one of the half of people who have it under control with my medication and diet. Exercise is a challenge due to my tracheal stenosis.
Another statistic because a friend of mine fits in this group and I know she has it. Is that African American women have a higher chance of having high blood pressure than the men. Scary stuff if you realize there are no symptoms to high blood pressure and there is good reason that this is often called the silent killer.
What exactly is blood pressure, you, like me, are asking yourself? Blood pressure is the blood pushing against the artery walls as our blood courses through our bodies. There are two numbers the Systolic that measures the pressure when the heartbeats. And the Diastolic which measures the pressure in the arteries between the heartbeats. The Systolic is the upper number and the Diastolic is the lower number. Both of these numbers are important. When either one of these numbers is high you are considered having high blood pressure.
Another discovery was that there are three different types of blood pressure, Malignant Hypertension, Secondary Hypertension, and Renal Hypertension. Renal Hypertension is caused when you have kidney disease. Secondary Hypertension is when the upper number is between 120 and 140 and the lower number is between 80 and 99. Malignant Hypertension also known as Stage two; this is when your blood pressure is extremely high. The upper number is 160 or higher and the lower number is 100 or higher. And above those numbers will be Crises Hypertension; this is the deadly form.
Health concerns for having high blood pressures are stroke, heart, disease, kidney disease, eye diseases, diabetes, and for men erectile dysfunction. Not fun at all.
Here are my suggestions if you have or hypertension or pre-hypertension:
- Watch the salt, especially if you eat at fast food or restaurants. Limit you’re your sodium intake to 2,000 MG’s a day. Remember many foods naturally have sodium, like celery, tomatoes, and fermented foods.
- Eat at home most of the time, because this will give you better control of watching how much sodium you have.
- Get a blood pressure cuff at home. I have one and it helps me greatly. Especially when I first started taking blood pressure medication.
- Always, before exercise check your blood pressure and even in the middle check your blood pressure and afterwards. Especially when you are first diagnosis. Blood pressure gets higher as we lift weights for strength training or when we do cardio. There is a healthy range. Make sure your trainer knows about your blood pressure beforehand. And if they ever suggest to you, while doing a health assessment, to make an appointment with your doctor to get your pressure checked, please listen.
- Figure out how to manage and take care of your blood pressure that is non-food related. Even stress from work can raise your pressure, or a toxic relationship, and anxiety. Be aware, and find tools that work for you.
High blood pressure can be deadly if untreated; but can also encourage you to make choices to get on your path toward wellness. I would like to encourage you to keep making better decisions for your health; if not for you, for those you love.
Here are the links for where I got the information for my article.
- American Heart Association
- Measure up, Pressure down
- Center For Disease Control
- Heart Insight
- Sodium Breakup
Jamie Holloway lives in the Portland, Oregon area. Since October 2011 she has been sharing her Journey Toward Health and Wellness with Vasculitis through her blog at JamieChasesButterflies.com. As most of her articles will be about Men’s Health, Jamie intends to write her articles as though she was sharing important information with her brother, nephews and friends. This article was originally written for Wellness Works NW. We hope you are as inspired as we are with the raw candor Jamie uses in her writing.
For more information Contact Jamie.