High blood pressure, or hypertension, currently affects 1 out of every 3 American adults. High blood pressure often has no signs or symptoms and is therefore called the “silent killer” as it is one of the most important factors leading to heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney disease and early death. Here are some steps that can help to lower your blood pressure:
Monitor blood pressure. This will result in the most accurate assessment of your blood pressure.
Regular exercise. Keeping active improves blood vessel flexibility and heart function. It can be as simple as walking regularly and may decrease blood pressure by 10 points.
Eat well. The American Heart Association recommends the ‘Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension’ (DASH) diet. This diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.
Lose weight. Losing even 10% of your current weight can make a big difference.
Quit smoking. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and can cause a 20 -point increase in blood pressure.
Drink alcohol in moderation. One drink a day for women may be good for the heart and blood vessels.
Limit salt intake. Too much sodium and too little potassium can increase blood pressure, so aim for less the 1.5 grams of sodium and more than 4.7 grams daily.
Sleep at least 6-8 hours a night. Chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to high blood pressure and increased chance of developing heart disease.
Reduce stress. Mental and emotional stress can increase blood pressure while meditation, deep breathing and other stress-reducing activities can lower it.
Take prescribed blood pressure medication. Taking blood pressure pills should not make you feel differently and can keep you from having a stroke or heart attack.
If you would like more information on high blood pressure, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.