Our guest author today has experience in dealing with hypertension. Folks, this stuff kills! If you even suspect you have a problem take action immediately.
The American Heart Association estimates that approximately 7.4 million Americans, and 1 in 3 adults have hypertension, or high blood pressure. There are also certain trends among ethnic groups when it comes to the frequency of hypertension. For instance, African Americans are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than are Caucasians.
Besides race, there are a number of health related factors that can lead to hypertension including being over weight and obese, eating a poor diet, having diabetes, using tobacco products, as well as suffering from other underlying medical conditions such as kidney and liver disease. In most cases the exact cause of hypertension remains unknown. If left untreated, hypertension can put excessive pressure on the cardiovascular system and put the sufferer at risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and even death. Thankfully, there are number of things that can be done to lower blood pressure before it becomes serious.
It is recommended that those with hypertension eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and lean meats. Caloric intake should also be carefully monitored. Foods that are high in sugar, cholesterol, and sodium should also be eaten sparingly or avoided altogether. It is recommended to also look for foods that are fat-free or low-fat. In addition, foods rich in magnesium, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to help lower blood pressure.
For someone with hypertension, exercise is vital to lowering blood pressure. Exercise should be enjoyable, and not all forms of exercise are right for everyone. Similar to any exercise plan, consistency is key to seeing results. Aerobic exercise in particular can help lower blood pressure by increasing blood flow to the extremities and lowering the resting heart rate. Purchasing a piece of home exercise equipment may help make exercise more feasible during the colder months of the year. There are many types of less expensive home exercise tools from exercise videos to fitness video games. You may opt for something more traditional like a treadmill or indoor rowing machine. Whatever you choose make sure you enjoy it and it is something you will continue to do. Always consult your doctor when beginning a new exercise regime.
Alcohol and Tobacco Use
Smoking and alcohol use has been linked to heart disease and hypertension. Alcohol consumption should be limited to a maximum of two drinks per day, and smoking should be discontinued, for the best optimum health.
Reduce Stress Levels
Moderate-excessive amounts of stress and anxiety can be a trigger of hypertension. When presented with high amounts of stress, it is important to take time out for relaxation. Listening to quiet music, reading, and even having a pet can help bring the tensions of everyday life to a much safer and manageable level. Meditation and deep breathing exercises can also be beneficial.
There are a number of prescription medications on the market to reduce blood pressure. Typically a physician will consider medication only after the previous suggestions have failed to significantly lower blood pressure. However, in case of extreme hypertension, medication may be prescribed in accordance with a plan for following a healthy diet and regular exercise.