Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects more than 100 million people in the United States! Managing diabetes or prediabetes is difficult on its own but these conditions also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. November is National Diabetes Month, an annual observance dedicated to raising awareness about diabetes. This month, make
What Is Hypertension and What Can I Do About It?
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition that can lead to a wide range of long-term health complications. The most troubling part is that you can have hypertension for years without knowing it because symptoms tend to develop only when the damage is done.
That’s why our heart specialists at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, offer preventive blood pressure screenings on-site. By regularly checking your blood pressure levels, we can identify signs of hypertension in the earliest stages and give you the educational resources you need to get it under control.
Why you have hypertension
Hypertension affects nearly half of the population in the United States. What does it mean exactly to have high blood pressure?
Your blood pressure is the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels. In hypertension, the force is too high, which can damage the vessels and increase your risk for cardiovascular complications.
There are two classifications of hypertension – primary and secondary.
In primary hypertension, your blood pressure increases gradually over time, but there’s no identifiable cause of it. Factors that can contribute to primary hypertension include:
- Unhealthy diet
- Weight challenges
Primary hypertension is the most common type that people develop in their lifetime and, in some cases, it’s preventable.
Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that results from underlying illness. Those who have kidney disease or thyroid disease are at increased risk of developing hypertension.
Hypertension treatment starts with change
The initial treatment we use for hypertension focuses on lowering your blood pressure levels naturally. To do this, our heart specialists work closely with you on a management plan that helps you make important lifestyle changes.
If you’re overweight, we can recommend a healthy, nutritious diet plan that supports weight loss and also your heart health. We can also suggest a daily exercise routine that boosts blood circulation and can lower your blood pressure levels.
When stress is a contributing factor to hypertension, you will find that increased exercise can help lower your stress levels. There are also a variety of mindfulness exercises, such as breathing techniques, meditation, and yoga, that you can practice to better manage your stress.
When lifestyle and diet changes aren’t enough to control hypertension, you may need medications. It’s important that you take the medications as prescribed and implement the diet and lifestyle changes that we recommend to keep your blood pressure levels healthy.
Ditching the bad habits
Unhealthy habits, like smoking and excessive alcohol use, contribute to hypertension and can ultimately lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. If you’re not able to quit smoking on your own, our providers can recommend programs that help you quit for good.
You should also limit your alcohol consumption to help lower your blood pressure levels. We can provide guidance on how much is too much, so you can prevent high blood pressure, liver damage, and other long-term complications.
If you’re not in the habit of visiting with your doctor regularly, it’s important that you stay committed to scheduling regular blood pressure checks with our team.
We can also screen for hypertension-related cardiovascular conditions to identify concerns as early as possible. With the right treatment plan, you can manage your blood pressure and any hypertension side effects you experience.
Schedule a blood pressure screening today to lower your risk for hypertension complications. You can call the HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, office nearest to you or book an appointment online.
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