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10 Simple Steps to Bring Your Blood Pressure Under control (1)

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Get important info on high blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure, also called hypertension, is a health condition where the natural pressure resulting from the blood-pumping function of the heart has risen beyond the normal, healthy range. Blood pressure (BP) that has risen above the acceptable range is clearly a danger to health, as it is easily capable of causing damage to key organs of the body. If high blood pressure is uncontrolled, the risk of major disease conditions and even death will be high. Medical experts are agreed that uncontrolled high blood pressure is ruinous because of the health complications it would almost inevitably lead to.

Here are major health risks you will face if you have elevated blood pressure and fail to take urgent steps to get it under control:

  • Damage to the heart - there is a major risk of heart attack, heart failure or sudden cardiac death. Also chest pain, enlarged left heart and other heart diseases.
  • Damage to Arteries - hardening and thickening of arteries that can cause obstruction of blood flow, raising the risk of heart and kidney failures or stroke or bulging of artery wall that can rupture and cause high-risk internal bleeding.
  • Kidney Disease and Failure - by damaging the large arteries leading to the kidney and its tiny blood vessels, the kidney gets incapacitated, leading to failure; rupture with life-threatening internal bleeding also possible.
  • Stroke - High BP can cause severe damage to the brain's blood vessels and lead to serious narrowing, bulging or rupture, with brain bleeding that results in a stroke.
  • Brain Damage - Damage to arteries can starve the brain of much-needed blood flow, causing damage that can result in impairment of speech, reasoning, memory, reading, motion and other cognitive functions - dimensia.
  • Vision Loss - The eyes are not spared and damage to their blood vessels puts the retina at risk of damage with danger of impaired or lost vision. The optic nerve may be damaged too, causing bleeding and possible loss of vision.

All said, high blood pressure is a life-threatening condition and has many new cases of stroke, cardiovascular problems and death to its credit each passing month of the year. Untreated and uncontrolled high blood pressure will progressively cause damage to the key organs of the body, ultimately raising the likelihood of these life-threatening health conditions. Unfortunately, high blood pressure is a silent disease. A victim may be unaware of its presence, even for years, while the damage continues. This is possible because high blood pressure can exist without presenting any health symptoms. Detection, in that situation, is only possible through a BP check.

Simply put, you can't afford to toy with high blood pressure, because it's a killer and a silent one. That's what makes it even more dangerous. If you have it, treat and control it. And keep treating and controlling. If you don't know your status, check it. And keep checking!

Often, hypertension is treated with medication, as prescribed by the doctor, but there are various other measures that can achieve or contribute to that objective. To help you manage existing high blood pressure or protect against developing high blood pressure, here are 10 proven steps, mainly lifestyle choices, that you can put to immediate use:

Steps to Controlling Your Blood Pressure

1. Check your BP Regularly
This may sound obvious, but that is the key to any success with BP control. If your don't determine that you are at grave risk, you are unlikely to take the urgent steps needed to bring your blood pressure down to a healthy range. Checking would require a regular visit to the hospital and there are many hospitals or other health facilities where free checks are available. The difficulty is that many won't easily find the time for regular visits, because of their busy schedules. Besides, checking the BP early in the morning for what is called "morning hypertension" (early morning measurement, believed to be highest for most victims and thought to closely relate to the risk of strokes), will not be easy when you depend on hospitals. Those are obviously some of the reasons the American Heart Association, American Society of Hypertension and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses' Association jointly issued a report recommending home monitoring of blood pressure. Home monitoring also eliminates "white-coat hypertension", the momentary elevation of blood pressure that some people experience when they appear before a doctor for a measurement, caused by fright. At home, it's possible to take measurements more frequently, in a relaxed atmosphere and early in the morning too. That's why everybody is encouraged to secure and keep a personal BP monitor, like the ones available on this site, for home use. Many home-use digital BP monitors are fully automatic and consequently easy to operate and read, and portable too. See the Omron range here»

2. Drastically Cut or Avoid Salt Intake
The association of salt consumption and high blood pressure has been sufficiently accepted. Salt causes increased retention of water in the body, creating more difficulty for the troubled heart. That compounds your problem. Fortunately, if you can just convince yourself about salt, you can actually eat with little or no salt. To stay alive, it's a choice to make. You real challenge should come from processed products you may eat without knowing the level of salt content, especially if not properly labeled. Even at that, your tongue should guide you: if it tastes salty, it's not for you, so skip it! If you must allow some salt, keep it at a minimum. How do you measure that? Difficult, since you may not even be the one preparing the meals, but that means you must influence the source of what your eat, to limit the salting in meals. A teaspoonful is the recommended maximum daily consumption. Your best bet: avoid it to the barest.

3. Keep an Active Lifestyle
Inactivity will not do your blood circulation any good. A sedentary lifestyle is generally a killer, but with high blood pressure, it adds to your woes. You simply have to get more active by cultivating a habit of regular exercises and more physical activity. Aerobic exercises are particularly recommended by health experts. A quick walk, several times a week and up to 20 minutes duration each, is a good start. Cycling or swimming are also good exercises. Taking every opportunity to engage in physical activity (walking the stairs, going on foot, some gardening or other chores at home, etc) is what should become your way of life. Exercise will potentially reduce your blood pressure, help trim your weight, lower cholesterol level, tone down stress and provide general revitalization. Getting into a habit of walking can be helped by the use of step counters (pedometers).

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