Have you ever worried about a family member or friend being diagnosed with hypertension? Ever care to understand what that really means? There are in fact, many misconceptions about the significance behind hypertension and the very simple ways it may be treated.
Due to a number of reasons, such as poor diet and/or physical inactivity, your blood may begin to push too hard against its blood vessels, causing high blood pressure – also known as hypertension. Treating hypertension as early as possible is critical for normal blood flow and circulation. If you leave hypertension untreated, it can damage your blood vessels, heart, kidneys, and other organs of the body. In fact, hypertension often leads to heart disease and stroke – the second and fifth leading causes of death in the U.S.
The biggest misconception of hypertension is detecting symptoms. In the early stages, many people do not realize that they even have high blood pressure. Most health professionals call it “the silent killer”. Therefore, it is important to get regular checkups so that your doctor can monitor your health. The second misconception is that many believe it cannot be prevented. In truth, you can actually decrease your risk and take steps toward prevention by changing certain lifestyle habits. Read below for tips on how you can help lower your blood pressure:
- Keeping a Healthy Diet – Monitoring caloric intake, increasing nutrient dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, and decreasing saturated fat and cholesterol intake helps improve risk of disease.
- vegetables high in potassium, calcium, magnesium such as potatoes, or leafy greens (lettuce, kale, spinach)
- Limiting Salt Intake
- Increasing Water Intake – Increasing water intake helps perpetuate satiety, control thirst, and blood flow.
- Exercising Regularly – Staying physically active improves an individuals blood flow, lipid profile, overall mood and even sleep.
- Decreasing Stress in Your life
- Quitting Smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
Asking a registered dietitian about following the DASH diet would also be a great method to help fight hypertension. But remember – never implement extreme diet-related changes into his or her life without consulting with an RD first. Registered Dietitians are the only professionals that can offer advice on how to achieve goals associated with acute and chronic disease!
Author: Saniyah Khan
References: 5 High Blood Pressure Myths: Get the Facts.” WebMD. Ed. Suzanne Steinbaum. WebMD Medical Reference, 27 Jan. 2015. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.