Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, can go completely unnoticed. In fact, hypertension is known as the “silent killer.” That’s because it has little to no symptoms. Even with no symptoms, hypertension is still damaging your heart.
The only way you may know you have high blood pressure is by visiting your healthcare provider regularly for a blood pressure check.
A normal blood pressure for a healthy adult is 120/80. However, a diet high in salt, fat, and other unhealthy ingredients can raise blood pressure. Family history and genetics play a part in blood pressure too.
Blood pressure is a measurement of blood flow as it passes through your arteries. If blood reaches resistance, your blood pressure increases. The resistance is caused by fatty plaques clinging to your artery walls.
The good news is, there are several ways you can help keep blood pressure under control. Remember to:
- Avoid smoking and limit consumption of alcohol
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet, low in salt and fat
In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, you need to seek out the help and expertise of your doctor. Hypertension is typically treated with medications to help you maintain a healthy blood pressure. These medications include:
- Diuretics, to eliminate excess water
- ACE inhibitors, to relax blood vessels
- Beta Blockers, to open blood vessels, which lowers the workload on your heart
- Calcium channel blockers, to relax blood vessels and slow down your heart rate
Chronic, uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to serious complications, including:
- A stroke
- A heart attack
- Damaged blood vessels
- Structural damage to your heart
Hypertension can become a more persistent issue as you get older. The effects of lack of regular exercise, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet can accumulate, causing your blood pressure to increase.
If you think you might have high blood pressure, don’t wait. Seek out the services of your doctor quickly, so call today.