Have you ever wondered why high blood pressure is called a Silent Killer, because it is and you have every right to be concerned if your blood pressure is high.
Although high blood pressure typically doesn’t cause symptoms, it has a devastating effect on our health. High blood pressure is the primary or contributing cause of more than 1,300 deaths every day in the developing countries. That means someone dying almost every minute. It’s one of the leading causes of two of our most feared diseases, heart attack and stroke, and also increases the risk for dementia and kidney failure.
These numbers are frightening, but it’s more striking to know that all the deaths, diseases, and disabilities caused by high blood pressure are preventable.
The question is, What are we doing about it?
Dr Folasade Alli (Chief Cardiologist, Cardiovascular Researcher), says that this is unacceptable, and she shares three most important things about lowering that blood pressure and possibly saving every live.
- Know your numbers.
The recommended way to achieve this is to check your blood pressure at home with reliable automatic blood pressure cuffs.
Before taking your blood pressure reading, sit quietly for 5 minutes. Talk to your doctor about how often to check your blood pressure and when. Empty your bladder beforehand, and wait at least 30 minutes after exercise, smoking, or drinking caffeine.
- Treat the cause of your high blood pressure.
To treat the high blood pressure correctly, you’ll have to under the causes of high blood pressure. Some of the common causes include:
- Sedentary lifestyle: Even modest levels of activity can lower your blood pressure and minimize medications.
- Consumption of highly processed food: Particularly if high in sodium
- Unhealthy weight gain: Losing 5%-10% of your weight can lower your blood pressure as much or more than any medication.
- Large alcohol consumption: More than a drink a day can increase your blood pressure.
- Untreated sleep apnea: Sleep specialist estimates 30%-50% of people with high blood pressure have sleep apnea, most untreated. If you snore, don’t wake up feeling rested, or your partner notices you periodically stop breathing while asleep, ask your doctor if you should be checked for sleep apnea.
Talk to your Cardiologist about what may be causing your high blood pressure. Certainly, genetics are important, but experts estimate half or more of high blood pressure is caused by factors we have control over.
- Use your medications regularly.
When it comes to swallowing pills, we all don’t like it, but then putting the risk of not taking it and the benefits of taking it into consideration will help a great deal.
However, if you know your blood pressure is regularly over 130/80 even after doing all you can to treat high blood pressure causes not taking your blood pressure medications puts you at higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and early death. The first-line blood pressure medications are effective, inexpensive, and have a low risk for side effects.
Although high blood pressure often doesn’t cause symptoms, its effects on our health are potentially devastating. But you have more control than you may have realized to lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, and early death.