What You Need To Know About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (HBP) is a chronic disease that increases your risk of vascular disease and organ damage. One of the biggest challenges to HBP is many people are unaware they are affected because of infrequent medical care. Knowing you are at risk is half the battle.
HBP rarely causes symptoms, and when it does, your blood pressure may be critically high. There are some group of people who are more likely to develop HBP, such a people of certain racial/ethnic groups, older people, and those who are overweight. Some people simply have a genetic predisposition to develop HBP, regardless of their lifestyle. Routine blood pressure screenings are critical to catch HBP quickly. Unless your blood pressure is critically high when you go to the doctor, HBP is often diagnosed after three elevated reading. Checking your blood pressure at the store or at home is another way to keep an eye on your blood pressure, just be sure to use the same monitor each time. Additionally, avoid any vigorous activity or caffeine before taking your blood pressure, since it will be elevated.
The Results Are Catastrophic
Any number of complications can be associated with HBP and the problems are usually abrupt and severe. HBP can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Over time, the elevated blood pressure causes damage to the blood vessels. In people who already have an undiagnosed weakness in a major blood vessel, the extra stress on the blood vessels from their elevated blood pressure may lead to a rupture like those seen aneurysms or hemorrhagic stroke. Other problems related to HBP include vision problems, heart failure, and kidney damage. Many of these problems ultimately cause permanent damage to these organs.
HBP Is Treatable
Fortunately for people with HBP, the problem is remarkably easy to manage. Typically, when people have problems related to HBP, it was because they did not adhere to their treatment plan. If there are controllable risk factors that contribute to HBP, you should work with your doctor to improve your health. Eating a better diet, weight loss, and stress reduction are some issues you can begin to change. Many people with HBP are prescribed an antihypertensive medication combined with a diuretic. In the beginning, going to the bathroom frequently can be frustrating, but you will quickly become acclimated to the effects of your medication if you stick with treatment. Taking your medications does not reverse the effects of a bad diet. You should continue to work on reducing salt.
HBP is a major risk factor for having a heart attack, stroke, or organ damage. Annual physicals given by a family doctor are the easiest way to identify hypertension and treat the problem before damage occurs.