High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, benign essential hypertension, HBP and HTN, occurs when the force of blood pushes against the walls of your arteries. Your heart is affected, too. When your heart beats, blood pressure is at its peak (systolic pressure); when your heart rests, blood pressure falls (diastolic pressure).
Who’s at risk for high blood pressure?
Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but the disease is especially prevalent in those over 55 years old, people with a family history of high blood pressure and those who are overweight, smoke, drink heavily and do not exercise regularly. There is only one way to diagnose high blood pressure—a blood test administered by your physician.
The FDA recommends that individuals with blood pressure over 140/90 should seek treatment.
Blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day as you engage in various activities. A brief rise in blood pressure is normal. However, you are at greater risk if your blood pressure rises and stays high.
Although uncommon, some pregnant women experience high blood pressure. In pregnant women, high blood pressure is known as toxemia or preeclampsia.
Keep blood pressure in check
First off, have your doctor check for high blood pressure through a blood test. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders. There are also other drug-free steps to help control and potentially lower your blood pressure.
Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as foods high in potassium. Consuming a healthy diet often leads to a healthy weight, another factor in controlling or preventing high blood pressure. Your body mass index (BMI) will help you determine if your body weight is in the ideal range.
Exercise, such as walking or bicycling, will help to both maintain a healthy weight and lowers blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends two-and-a-half hours of moderate exercise weekly.
Smoking is the culprit in causing many diseases, including high blood pressure. Cigarettes increase high blood pressure, which puts the smoker at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Quit smoking, if you smoke, to reduce your risk for disease.
Alcohol consumption should be limited to two drinks per day for men and only one for women in those with high blood pressure. Drinking large amounts of alcohol raises blood pressure.
Chiropractic adjustments have been demonstrated to help lower high blood pressure. Studies have shown an improvement in blood pressure following chiropractic treatments. Through regular chiropractic care, the decrease in blood pressure continues. Include chiropractic care into your health regimen to increase optimum well-being.
A healthy lifestyle is the cornerstone of controlling high blood pressure. It is important to exercise often, eat foods low in salt content, maintain a healthy weight and avoid smoking and consuming an excessive amount of alcohol.