High blood pressure prevention

An ounce of High blood pressure prevention

Not every case of hypertension can be controlled or prevented by lifestyle changes, but many can be. Keep the following tips in mind.

•   Know your blood pressure.

• High blood pressure prevention:  Don't smoke, and avoid being around people who do. Nicotine constricts the arteries and elevates blood pressure. A person with uncontrolled hypertension who smokes is five times more likely to have a heart attack and sixteen times more likely to have a stroke than a nonsmoker.

•   Exercise regularly.

•  High blood pressure prevention: Lose weight, if necessary. People who are overweight experience more hypertension. An analysis of five studies involving weight loss and hypertension found that, on average, losing 20 pounds resulted in a decline of 6.3 mm Hg in systolic and 3.1 mm Hg in diastolic pressure.

• High blood pressure prevention  Monitor your use of over-the-counter medicines. Avoid using antihistamines, decongestants, cold remedies, and appetite suppressants, unless recommended by a doctor.

•   Try to manage your daily stress. Stress can temporarily elevate blood pressure. Relaxation techniques such as biofeedback, meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, and hypnosis have been shown to help lower blood pressure.

•   Avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages.

• High blood pressure prevention:  Restrict alcohol consumption. While some researchers tout the cardiovascular benefits of modest drinking, consuming more than 30 milliliters of alcohol a day—an amount equal to 1 ounce of 100-proof whiskey, 8 ounces of wine, or two 12-ounce beers—can raise blood pressure.

High blood pressure prevention: CALL FOR HELP

Hypertension is often called "the silent killer" because it strikes without warning. About 20 percent of Americans with high blood pressure don't know they have the condition, and only one-third have it under control. Advanced hypertension can cause headache (especially in the morning), fatigue, dizziness, rapid pulse, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, and visual problems. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor promptly.

The only way to be sure your blood pressure is under control is to visit your doctor regularly and have your blood pressure checked. If you suffer from hypertension, you need to be under the care of a physician who can monitor this potentially life-threatening condition.

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