By Nurse Diane
This is National High Blood Pressure Education month. According to the CDC, who's theme this year is Make Control Your Goal, states that you may not have any symptoms of high blood pressure, but it can damage your health in many ways. For instance, it can harden the arteries, decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart and brain.
This reduced flow can cause:
- A heart attack, which occurs when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle cells die from a lack of oxygen.
- A stroke, which can occur when arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain become blocked or burst.
- Chest pain, also called angina.
- Heart failure, which occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood and oxygen to other organs
Ways to keep your pressure under control include:
- Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Participate in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.
- Eat a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium, saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol.
- Manage stress.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink (no more than one drink each day for women and two for men).
If you have a family member who has high blood pressure, you can help by taking many of the steps listed above with them. Go for walks together or cook meals with lower sodium. Make it a family affair, and keep your blood pressure under control.
(All images from Google)