Have you been thinking to yourself, what is having high blood pressure? Well, let us try to explain. Having high blood pressure, which can also be referred to as hypertension or HBP, is when the force of blood flowing through your arteries is consistently too high (1). According to the American Heart Association (AHA), almost half of Americans have high blood pressure, and most of them don’t know they have it (2). So, what can you do about high blood pressure and how can you prevent it? In this blog we are going to cover some of the more popular causes of high blood pressure, and some ways you can try to prevent it.
The content of this blog is meant for informational use only. Contact your physician or medical expert should you have any questions or concerns regarding your current and/or future health.
What is Having High Blood Pressure?
So, what is high blood pressure? As referenced above, having high blood pressure means the force of blood flowing through your arteries is consistently too high. According to the AHA, some of the more common factors that can lead to having HBP are (3):
- Smoking – smoking is a leading cause of many health risks including hypertension.
- A high sodium diet – sodium is found in more places than you think. Processed and packaged food items are among the more common sources of sodium(4).
- Obesity – obesity puts a large amount of stress on your heart and arteries, and can lead to many other health problems as well.
- Stress – sometimes stress itself can cause your blood pressure to increase. However, stress is also very likely to lead you to do other things that can cause you to have HBP down the line, such as drinking, binge eating, tobacco use or inactivity.
These factors, over time, have been known to lead to high blood pressure. The good news is that many of these contributing factors can be corrected with lifestyle changes. This means that you can take control in the lowering or prevention of high blood pressure!
How Can You Prevent Having High Blood Pressure
There are a number of things that can help prevent having high blood pressure. Luckily, with a few lifestyle changes, you could be on your way to a healthier you. One of the main factors that can lead to having high blood pressure is stress. Stress is often one of the most challenging factors to change because a lot of times, the factors that induce your stress are out of your control. Some popular coping mechanisms that can help to manage your stress are yoga, exercise, journaling, and poetry. If you are concerned about your stress levels, consult your doctor to find out helpful tips or suggestions on the best stress management practices for you.
Another area of improvement could be in your diet. Two of the known factors that can lead to high blood pressure are obesity and consuming high levels of sodium. Both of these, as mentioned before, are within your ability to control. Consider consulting your doctor to come up with a plan on how to reduce both of these factors within your everyday eating plan.
Smoking can also increase you likelihood to develop high blood pressure. The best way to prevent high blood pressure from smoking, is to not smoke. If you are currently not a smoker, continue to avoid it. If you do currently smoke, contact your physician to talk about your options for quitting. This factor, as well as the others listed, can also compromise the health of your heart.
Why High Blood Pressure Matters for Heart Health Month
Having high blood pressure, over time, can put you at risk for poor heart health. The impact that HBP has on the heart is why high blood pressure matters for Heart Health Month. If hypertension remains untreated, it can eventually lead to having a stroke or a heart attack (5). Because most people don’t know they have it, the effects of HBP often sneak up when it’s too late. This is why the AHA refers to HBP as a silent killer (6). The best way to keep track of your blood pressure is to regularly have it checked. This can often be done at your local clinic or doctor’s office. If you want to get your blood pressure checked or have any questions or concerns regarding your heart health, it is best to consult your doctor or medical provider.
Training Direct is a healthcare education training provider located in both Danbury and Bridgeport, Connecticut. As a respected healthcare school in CT, our goal is to share information on healthcare-related topics, such as high blood pressure.
At Training Direct we aim to prepare our students with the proper training to pursue an entry level position in the healthcare field. Training Direct offers an array of medical and healthcare training programs. Most of our programs can be completed in just a matter of weeks. Our medical programs include: Nurse Aide, Medical Billing and Coding Specialist, Patient Care Technician, Phlebotomy Technician, Electrocardiogram Technician (EKG/ECG), and Electronic Medical Records Specialist.
If you would like information on any of our programs listed above or have questions, please reach out to us here. We would be more than happy to answer any of your question or schedule a visit. Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!
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