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Neglecting Hypertension – Dangerous to Your Health

Live Long and HealthyHow many people actually realize that they might have high blood pressure or hypertension? Most have heard about the problem. They are Neglecting Hypertension and assume that it must be other people who have the problem. After all they feel fine and do not have any out word symptoms.  Yet this silent killer is slowly attacking your organs by causing high blood pressure and stressing your organs. It wears them down over time as well as your arteries eventually leading to a stroke, a heart attack or aneurism. Neglecting Hypertension can be dangerous.

Neglecting Hypertension – Take Control of Your Health

The answer is to take control of your own health and also contribute to the community in any way you can, but start with yourself first. If you are at all concerned or just interested, visit your local pharmacy and take your own blood pressure. Most pharmacies have blood pressure machines available that are easy to use with instructions to tell you if your readings should be of concern. These same pharmacies also sell portable blood pressure machines you can use at home to keep an eye on your blood pressure. Take a number of readings to obtain an average over a few days.

Believe it or not one out of every three American adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension. One of every six American adults will die from complications related to hypertension, such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure, making it a leading cause of death in this country. This is a serious disease and you need to pay attention. You may not even realize that you have high blood pressure until it is too late and the damage has been done.  You can quickly check your blood pressure by following the steps mentioned above and then if necessary visit your doctor to be professionally assessed.

Millions of Americans “develop, live with, and die from hypertension,” says David W. Fleming, MD, chairman of the committee that produced the report. Last year, hypertension cost the health care system — directly and indirectly — more than $73 billion. Yet prevention efforts, Fleming says, are “woefully underfunded.”

Live Long Enough

“If you live long enough in this country, you are almost guaranteed to get hypertension. That’s not true across the world,” says Corinne Husten, MPH, MD, senior medical advisor for the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products and member of the committee that produced the report. “Environment explains why we are so at risk, and the reality is that unless we create the environment to do the right thing, we are going to continue to have all these deaths.”

Most people, after all, have already gotten the message about eating right and exercising regularly. The problem, as the committee sees it, is that too many communities, in particular those in low-income and minority areas, lack the infrastructure to support healthy lifestyles, including such basics as safe places to walk and neighborhood markets that stock fresh produce and low-sodium foods.

The writer of this post believes you cannot wait until the government takes the necessary steps to improve the community situation, assuming that this would even work. Instead, you need to take control of the situation yourself and modify your eating habits to help improve your blood pressure, as well as visit your doctor to be assessed. If you cannot afford a doctor, reduce your salt intake and monitor your own blood pressure now. Do as much as you can to get it under control yourself without the use of medication.

Neglecting Hypertension – Too Much Salt

Regardless of where you live, it’s likely that there’s too much sodium in your diet. Nearly 90% of adults consume more than the recommended 2,300 milligrams (about a teaspoon) daily limit. For those with high blood pressure, middle-aged and older adults, and African-Americans, the daily limit should be even lower (1,500 milligrams).

The salt shaker is not to blame. Most of that salt is already in food when it is purchased. Whether it’s processed food from a supermarket or a meal eaten in a restaurant. Processed food contains huge amounts of salt. Just read the labels to find out how much salt is in a daily serving. Even some cereals contain a lot of salt, but the real culprits are snacks and prepared meals.

Stay focused on reading labels and avoiding prepared foods with high salt content. Stop adding salt to your food with the salt shaker. Every little bit counts and pretty soon you will enjoy the taste of food when there is no salt added. In fact once you get used to low salt content in food, you will really notice foods you eat that are high in salt. Every time, I have tried prepared soup from a can for example, I find that I cannot finish it, since it is so salty!

Tips You can Apply In Every Day Life

Here are a few tips that will help you reduce your salt content in the foods you eat:

  •  Do not add salt from a salt shaker, use spices instead.
  •  Read labels and avoid any that have a high sodium content
  • Prepared foods such as cold meats may not have labels that are easy to read. They have high salt content and should be avoided.
  • Avoid snack foods such as salted chips and peanuts. If you must snack, use unsalted popcorn or peanuts.
  • Add spices to your meals if you feel that you need something to add to your food. Pepper works great.
  • Every little bit counts and you need to start now by reducing your salt intake to avoid this silent killer.

While most people get too much salt, the report also emphasizes that those same people often get too little potassium. This is another factor in the uptick of blood pressure levels. You can improve your potassium levels as well by eating more bananas with breakfast or between meals. Bananas are a great source of potassium and other minerals.

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One Response to “Neglecting Hypertension – Dangerous to Your Health”

  1. This is an excellent post about hypertension and a serious subject as well!

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