The term hypertension sounds more like a complicated medical diagnosis than a fairly simple condition: high blood pressure. Hypertension is just the medical term for when your blood pressure level is above clinical guidelines.
However, if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should to begin a treatment or care plan ASAP to lower your blood pressure level.
Hypertension is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. As mentioned in our previous blog,high blood pressure can lead to many types of cardiovascular health complications including coronary disease. So what should patients know about hypertension and how can they self-manage the condition?
Hypertension can be identified through simple blood pressure screenings
Hypertension doesn’t have any visible symptoms and requires a blood pressure screening in either a primary care office or at an urgent care center.
High blood pressure is referred to as a “silent killer” by the American Heart Association since it has no symptoms but can eventually lead to heart disease, heart attack, or possibly stroke. The only way to determine blood pressure level is by measure the systolic/diastolic reading; a healthy blood pressure ready per clinical guidelines is 120/80 mm Hg.
Patients can get their blood pressure measured at an urgent care center or a primary care provider’s office to see if they have clinical hypertension. Patients that do in fact have hypertension should begin to incorporate a mix of medical and lifestyle changes to lower their blood pressure.
Thankfully, hypertension is manageable with diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes
A doctor may advise a patient to take hypertension medication if they have significant healthcare risks. While patients should take their medication as prescribed, they can also incorporate effectively lifestyle changes that help lower blood pressure.
The Heart Association recommends patients with high blood pressure to make the following changes to reduce hypertension:
- Eat a well-balanced diet low in salt, trans fat, and saturated fat
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Enjoy physical activity (150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity)
- Coordinate wellness activities with your primary care provider
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight and manage stress level
The aforementioned lifestyle factors can significantly reduce blood pressure and other heart disease risks down the line. Make sure you speak with support groups, family members, and your healthcare providers on how to best integrate these changes into your life.
Hypertension and heart disease risks can be scary and initiate even scarier conversations. But getting help and knowing how you can control your risk factors will allow you to live your healthiest life.
Get a screening and start to take control of your heart health ASAP!