The word is out; high blood pressure has been branded a top public health enemy in the US. According to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it only trails tobacco when it comes to affecting lives. Having high blood pressure makes you at risk for heart disease and stroke.
And the problem is that you can have this disease without ever knowing it. If something makes you four times more likely to die of a stroke and three times more likely to die of heart disease, it’s something to take very seriously.
That means taking the time to find your blood pressure level. You can do this through having a check-up with a person who knows how to read blood pressure levels. But the best thing to do is see your doctor and have her or him take your pressure for you.
If you are in normal ranges, strive to stay that way. If not, do what needs to be done to get your pressure under control.
Many doctors will prescribe medications. However, some will allow you to try to adjust your lifestyle habits first. That means stop smoking if you are a smoker. Get you weight under control. Losing even 10 pounds can dramatically affect the levels of blood pressure in a positive way. Be sure to get on a regular exercise program and watch your diet. You want to stay away from the salt and eat whole foods including grains, fruits and vegetables.
High blood pressure is nothing to ignore. If you dont’ know your readings, get it checked as soon as possible.