At the onset of high blood pressure, the condition typically doesn’t produce symptoms that make you stop and consider that something is wrong. When signs do occur, they’re often ignored or misunderstood since they can be subtle or similar to many other diseases.
High blood pressure increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death in the U.S. Almost half of U.S. adults have this condition and many don’t even realize it. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure is defined as blood pressure at or above 130/80 mm Hg.
The good news is that there are several proven ways to reduce your risk of high blood pressure. The high blood specialists at Macomb Medical Clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan, provide expert high blood pressure prevention counseling. After a thorough physical examination and medical history, your physician determines your risk for developing high blood pressure and recommends appropriate lifestyle changes you can make to protect your well-being. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, you’ll receive a treatment plan and directions for staying healthy and working to reverse the condition.
You can prevent high blood pressure by establishing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Start by following these tips from the team at Macomb Medical Center.
Establish and maintain a healthy weight
Having extra weight, especially around your abdomen, can increase your blood volume and make your heart work harder to pump blood through your body. Losing just 5-10% of your body weight can reduce your risk of high blood pressure.
If you’re overweight and could benefit from the guidance and support of a medical weight management program, you can access these services from the team at Macomb Medical Center.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet includes a variety of foods rich in fiber and protein and low in salt and saturated fat. It also includes foods that provide adequate amounts of the minerals magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which help regulate blood pressure naturally.
The DASH diet, a diet low in fat, red meat, cholesterol, sweets, and salt may help you prevent blood pressure so you can maintain healthy levels.
If you’re confused about how to establish a healthy diet, you may benefit from nutritional counseling that can help you understand how to regulate your intake of beneficial foods and reduce the amount of harmful foods you consume.
When you’re feeling the effects of stress, your body produces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones make your blood pressure increase temporarily. Your body reacts by making your heart beat faster and narrowing your blood vessels until the stressful episode passes.
In cases of chronic stress, your body stays in this elevated condition longer than normal, forcing it to endure the effects of high blood pressure. If you cope with stress by overeating, smoking, and drinking alcohol, you can further increase your risk of high blood pressure for longer periods.
If you’re under constant stress, you can reduce your risk of high blood pressure by finding healthy coping mechanisms like practicing yoga, medication, and participating in regular exercise.
Get appropriate sleep
When you’re in the deepest stage of sleep, your body experiences a decrease in blood pressure. If you’re not getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night, you may be depriving your body of this daily reduction in blood pressure. Without this experience, you may increase your risk of higher blood pressure when you’re awake.
If you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, it’s important to seek appropriate treatment so you can establish and follow a schedule to get appropriate sleep.
Schedule regular checkups
Following through with a schedule of annual physical exams can determine whether you’re succeeding in preventing high blood pressure. A blood pressure check can determine where you stand.
If you’re in a state of prehypertension, in which your blood pressure is elevated but not considered “high,” your physician can recommend modifications that can help you achieve your goal of high blood pressure prevention before the condition worsens.
Find out more about ways to prevent high blood pressure before it strikes. Call our office today to arrange a consultation.