What Is Hypertension?

doctor diagnosing patient with hypertension

Hypertension is a somewhat fancy word for something you’ve probably already heard of: high blood pressure.

Hypertension is one of the most common medical conditions faced by modern people. It is so common that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates as many as 1 in 3 American adults have hypertension.

For most people, hypertension does not have any symptoms. Despite this, hypertension can gradually damage the body. The increased pressure can damage blood vessels and organs in the body over the long term.

Untreated high blood pressure can eventually lead to a variety of dangerous complications, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, aneurysm, and many other conditions.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to monitor your blood pressure and some easy to implement lifestyle changes which can help reduce blood pressure.

How To Measure Your Blood Pressure

The easiest way to tell if you have hypertension is to consistently measure your blood pressure.

You can do this with an at home EKG monitoring device or portable EKG machine. These devices are inexpensive and allow you to read your blood pressure at any time without the assistance of a doctor.

By keeping a consistent record of your blood pressure, you can help supplement the blood pressure readings which doctors will take each time you visit the clinic. This information can help your doctor to determine if you have hypertension and potentially prescribe you blood pressure control medication, or recommend changes to your diet and lifestyle which can help lower your blood pressure.

How Diet and Lifestyle Impact Blood Pressure

While there are a wide variety of factors which contribute to hypertension, two of the most common factors are diet and lifestyle.

Diets high in salt and trans-fats have been linked to higher blood pressure. Reducing salt intake and avoiding fatty foods is a good way to help bring down your blood pressure. Diets high in leafy greens and fruits can improve the health of your heart and cardiovascular system.

Sedentary lifestyles have also been linked to increases in blood pressure. Regular exercise — even thirty minutes a day of low impact exercise such as walking — can reduce blood pressure when done consistently.

Similarly, obesity is a major contributing factor to hypertension. Losing weight is a great way to help combat hypertension, especially when combined with improvements in diet and increased levels of physical activity.

Smoking and drinking alcohol have also been associated with increased blood pressure. Reducing your alcohol intake and quitting smoking can help alleviate hypertension.

See For Yourself How Your Lifestyle Affects Your Blood Pressure

If you’re one of the millions of people trying to control their hypertension, it can be extremely helpful to actually monitor how your lifestyle and diet impact your blood pressure.

While this is difficult to do if you’re only getting infrequent blood pressure readings when you visit the doctor, it is something which can be done daily with the help of your own EKG monitoring device.

Combining an EKG monitor with a simple journal which documents what you’ve done in regards to diet and exercise on a daily basis is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for controlling your blood pressure.

Take control today!

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