Over 100 million American adults have some degree of hypertension, the medical name for high blood pressure. Despite this, only about one-quarter of them have their condition under control, and this is possibly because there are few obvious symptoms of high blood pressure, particularly as it’s developing. By the time recognizable symptoms arrive, you’re likely in the late stages of the disease, a potentially dangerous condition that may be life-threatening.
Despite the serious consequences, high blood pressure is usually easy to treat. But first, you must know you have the condition, and that takes a series of blood pressure tests administered by a medical professional like those at Alpha Internal Medicine in Fayetteville Georgia. Dr. Betsy Horton and her team can help you manage your condition to minimize the harmful toll hypertension can take on your body.
Key to treatment are the changes you can make in your daily life to help lower your blood pressure naturally. Even modest changes can result in significant improvements in your blood pressure levels. Here are four tips that anyone can start, at any time, to help improve their blood pressure, or prevent it from escalating to hypertension in the future.
Blood must get to every cell in your body, and your heart works harder the more body you have. Losing weight, even five to ten pounds, helps your heart work efficiently, lowering the amount of pressure needed to pump blood throughout your body. If you’re having trouble achieving lasting results, your Alpha Internal Medicine caregivers are here to help with diet and exercise advice, important parts of blood pressure-friendly living.
There’s nothing secret about healthy eating. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is an easy-to-follow strategy that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as low-fat dairy products. It’s also big on whole grains while limiting sodium intake. You get plenty of protein as well, in the form of lean meats and fish. In fact, many people find that healthy eating isn’t much different than their current diets. Sometimes, it’s about controlling portions and updated food preparation techniques.
While many people dread the thought of long hours of workouts, you can often lower your blood pressure with an additional 30 minutes of moderate walking, five times a week. Yoga is a gentle way to increase activity while practicing routines that help you focus on breathing and relaxation. It’s about movement. If you work long hours in an office chair, simply taking a stretch break each hour can make a difference.
Cigarettes and alcohol are two vices that are not doing your blood pressure any favors. There are simply no health benefits to smoking, and the deleterious effects on your body are substantial. Quit smoking and watch your blood pressure drop. One glass of wine may actually have positive effects on hypertension, but more than one alcoholic drink daily will not. Cut back on alcohol and you’ll likely lower your blood pressure.
When your lifestyle efforts aren’t enough, contact Alpha Internal Medicine for an exam and blood pressure evaluation. There are many medications available to assist you. The stakes are simply too high to ignore, so call or click today.