High blood pressure is a condition that affects more than 100 million people in the United States, and it’s a significant risk factor for potentially serious conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. It typically doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms, so many people don’t address it and treat it like the ongoing medical concern that it is. The good news is that there are many ways you can reduce your high blood pressure and all its related risks.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
There are multiple risk factors associated with high blood pressure. Some we can control, like diet and exercise, and others we can’t, like family history and age. But you should know all the contributing factors so that you can properly assess your risk.
• Family history
• Tobacco use
• Being overweight/obese
• Lack of physical activity
• Diet (too much sodium, not enough potassium)
• Excessive alcohol consumption
An additional major factor in uncontrolled high blood pressure is avoiding regular visits with your doctor. A recent medical study noted that patients who had not seen their doctor in the past year were five times more likely to have uncontrolled high blood pressure than those who had. During an in-office visit, your doctor can assess whether or not you have high blood pressure and let you know how to treat it.
Steps You Can Take
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Reduce your sodium intake
• Talk to your doctor about following the DASH diet
• Moderate physical activity if your physician says it’s safe for you
• Reduce tobacco and alcohol use
High blood pressure is a very serious condition and if left untreated can cause many other health problems. Working with your doctor to come up with a plan to reduce your blood pressure is the best step you can take right now. Contact our office to schedule an appointment so we can get started. Let’s work together to keep you as healthy as possible.