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Steps to take following a high blood pressure diagnosis

VIllage News Staff

There are many actions that can be taken following a high blood pressure diagnosis. Hypertension, characterized by abnormally high blood pressure, is a more prevalent issue than often acknowledged. According to a 2021 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 116 million individuals, roughly half of American adults, suffer from hypertension. This problem isn't confined to the U.S., as per the World Health Organization, the global count of individuals with hypertension has surged to 1.28 billion since 1990.

Despite its widespread occurrence, hypertension is not a normal state and warrants serious attention. The American Heart Association (AHA) underscores that if left unaddressed or uncontrolled, hypertension can give rise to various severe and potentially fatal conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and kidney diseases.

Considering the considerable risks posed by high blood pressure, it's crucial for individuals to understand the appropriate steps to take upon receiving a hypertension diagnosis. Below are several strategies, including those suggested by the AHA for people who have been diagnosed with hypertension to bring their blood pressure levels back to a healthy range.

• Embrace a nutritious, low-salt diet: Prioritize wholesome nutrition by reducing sugar and processed foods. Opt for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts, legumes, and healthy oils like avocado oil and olive oil. These dietary choices ensure essential nutrients are derived from healthful sources.

• Address nutrient deficiencies: Correct any deficiencies in potassium, vitamin E (tocotrienols), and Niacin (Vitamin B3), as they can contribute to elevated blood pressure. Consider substitutes like NU-SALT for potassium and incorporate vitamin-rich foods into your diet.

• Limit red meat and added sugars: Reduce consumption of red meat and foods containing added sugars, including sweets and sugary beverages.

• Explore intermittent fasting: Discuss intermittent fasting with your doctor, which involves restricting eating to a 6 to 8 hour window during the day. This approach can promote overall health.

• Moderate alcohol consumption: Avoid excessive alcohol intake, which can elevate blood pressure. Contrary to popular beliefs, there's no conclusive evidence that red wine benefits heart health. Consume alcohol in moderation, adhering to the AHA's guidelines.

• Engage in regular exercise: Establish a routine exercise regimen to improve heart health and control high blood pressure. If new to physical activity, collaborate with a physician and personal trainer to design a suitable exercise plan.

• Manage stress: Routine exercise aids in stress reduction, a vital component in lowering blood pressure. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques into your routine.

• Achieve a healthy weight: Embrace the above strategies to help shed excess weight. Even a modest weight loss of 10 pounds can contribute to managing high blood pressure and reducing strain on the heart.

With over 1.2 billion individuals worldwide affected by high blood pressure, taking proactive steps to manage hypertension is a significant stride toward long-term well-being and combatting this often silent threat.

 

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