Atlantic Private Care Wellness Corner

Why high blood pressure matters

Sometimes referred to as the "silent killer," high blood pressure has no symptoms, so you may not be aware that it's damaging your arteries, heart and other organs. Untreated high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems. Possible health consequences that can happen over time when high blood pressure is left untreated include:

*Damage to the heart and coronary arteries, including heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection and atherosclerosis (fatty buildups in the arteries that cause them to harden).

*Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). *Angina. *Stroke *Kidney damage or failure *Fluid in the lungs *Memory loss. * Vision loss.

Remember, these are not symptoms of high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a

symptomless disease except in its most extreme cases known as hypertensive crisis.

When blood pressure readings rise to 180/110 mm Hg or above, call for emergency

medical treatment immediately. Individuals whose blood pressure is higher than 140/90

mm Hg often become patients treated for serious cardiovascular problems.

Am I at risk for high blood pressure?

Experts have identified several factors that can increase your risk of developing high

blood pressure and thus your risk for serious health consequences.

Risk factors for developing high blood pressure include: *Lack of physical activity *Poor diet, especially one that includes too much salt. *Overweight and obesity *Drinking too much alcohol *Family history *Advanced age. *Gender-related risk patterns.

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What can I do about it? Below are several ways you can manage your blood pressure:

- Eat a better diet. Prepare healthy meals low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and salt.

- Enjoy regular physical activity. Exercise at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Know your numbers. Know what your blood pressure should be and work to keep it at that level.

Manage stress.

Comply with prescription medications. Take medicine the way your health care provider tells you.

Avoid tobacco smoke.

If you drink, limit alcohol. Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks a day for men.

Whether you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or are concerned because you have some of the risk factors for the disease, understand this: while there is no cure, high blood pressure is manageable.

Yours in Health,

Atlantic Private Care

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