High Blood Pressure: Know Your Enemy

High Blood Pressure, the silent killerHow would you feel if you were told that every day, a quiet killer is slowly, silently damaging your body? Chances are you’d be terrified! You’d check your coffee for poison every morning, look over your shoulder suspiciously every few moments, or lose sleep at night, wondering what will happen next.

Thankfully, we have the tools you need to identify if this killer is stalking you, and to get rid of it before more damage comes to your body. Of course, we’re very dramatically talking about something that many people don’t find dramatic at all: high blood pressure.

But don’t stop reading: the simple fact remains that uncontrolled high blood pressure can really kill you. It has no symptoms, so if you are affected, you probably won’t be aware that it is killing you from the inside by damaging your heart, arteries, and other organs. Just look at some of the things that high blood pressure can do to your body:

Consequences of High Blood Pressure

  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage
  • Vision loss
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease (including congestive heart failure)
  • Memory loss
  • Angina
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Peripheral artery disease

Remember that these are consequences of high blood pressure, not symptoms.  High blood pressure itself can not be felt within the body. To identify it, you must be tested.

We can all agree that high blood pressure is not something we want going on in our body. So what can be done to prevent it? Many of the risk factors for high blood pressure can be taken away by lifestyle changes. Here are a few things you can do:

Fight Back Against High Blood Pressure

  • If you smoke, quit.
  • If you carry a few extra pounds or more, lose weight. According to the American Heart Association, even a 10-pound weight loss can make a big change.
  • Even if you aren’t overweight, more physical activity can improve blood pressure.
  • Cut back on sodium intake.  As we mentioned in a previous article, a 30% reduction for most Americans can make a huge difference.
  • Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1-2 drinks per day.
  • Make steps to decrease stress in your life.
Of course, there are other risk factors for high blood pressure that cannot be changed.
  • Older age
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Adrenal and thyroid disorders
Even if you have risk factors that can’t be erased, improving the risk factors that you DO have control over can be the difference between minor and destructive effects. If you have a family history of high blood pressure, or are getting up in years, don’t think high blood pressure is inevitable. The foods you eat and things you do every day can help or hurt your blood pressure.
Did you know that you can easily track your blood pressure with our free downloadable blood pressure log? When you need to speak with your doctor about your heart health, this log can be a huge help.  Download it today and take control of your cardiovascular health.

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