High blood pressure is one of those silent killers that can creep up on a person unexpectedly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of the adults in the states have high blood pressure, and only a quarter of these people have it under control. Seeing as high blood pressure can lead to stroke or heart disease, two leading causes of death in the United States, you should take this condition seriously. Here are a few top tips to help you cope with high blood pressure.
Know Your Numbers
Acknowledging your condition and being aware of what the numbers mean is the first step to coping with high blood pressure. For most healthy adults, normal blood pressure is a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80. Elevated blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg or above, stage 1 hypertension is 120/80 mmHg and over, while stage 2 hypertension is anything above 140/90 mmHg. Once a person reaches stage 2, they risk getting coronary heart disease, which can result in stroke or a heart attack.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly
Those diagnosed with high blood pressure should take their condition seriously and monitor it regularly. Keeping track of your results can help you identify factors that are causing your number to go up. Those managing high blood pressure with a smart blood pressure monitoring device can keep an eye on their numbers via a smartphone. These devices allow you to identify patterns, and they will alert you to any changes in your blood pressure.
Skip the Salt
Everyone knows that a well-balanced diet can help keep illnesses and conditions at bay, but did you know that avoiding salt in your food can help lower blood pressure levels significantly? A high salt diet causes fluid retention, which increases the pressure on your blood vessel walls. In turn, it will raise your blood pressure. The American Heart Association states that most adults should not consume more than 2,300 mg of salt per day, while the ideal consumption should be no more than 1,500 mg daily. Simply leaving out the salt in your meals can help you maintain or decrease your levels.
Those with high blood pressure who also smoke should stop smoking as soon as possible. This bad habit raises blood pressure as it damages blood vessel walls and makes it more likely for your blood to clot. In turn, your heart must work harder to function properly.
Achieve Quality Sleep
A restful night’s sleep can do wonders for your overall health and well-being, and achieving quality sleep every night helps your body function properly. This includes your heart and your blood vessels too. A lack of sleep has been directly linked to a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.
Listen to Your Healthcare Provider
Although it is important to take control of your condition and do what’s necessary to try and lower your blood pressure, you should also listen to the advice of your healthcare provider. High blood pressure that doesn’t go down even after lifestyle changes are made might need to be addressed with prescription medication. Many people are resistant to the idea of taking prescription drugs regularly, but following the guidance of your healthcare provider can stop your blood pressure from getting worse.