Cope With and Treat Hypertension

Edited by Lor777, Charmed, Reema, Eng and 2 others

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Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known as "the silent killer." It is very common and can lead to serious problems--such as heart attack and stroke--it often goes undetected. The best way to detect hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked often.

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Your blood pressure normally goes up and down, depending on your activities and emotions. A "normal" blood pressure reading depends on several factors, such as age, gender, and race. But for most adults, a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80. The first number refers to systolic pressure, when the heart contracts; the second number refers to diastolic pressure, when the heart is at rest between beats.

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Hypertension is usually defined as consistent readings of 140 systolic, or 90 diastolic, or higher. Most hypertension is called "primary," which means that the exact cause is unknown. Hypertension may be caused by other conditions--such as diabetes, kidney disease, or side effects of certain medications.

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How to Detect Hypertension

  1. 1
    Keep your blood pressure under check regularly, at least every two years for healthy adults.
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  2. 2
    If you are in danger of developing hypertension or heart disease because of high cholesterol, diabetes or family history, have your blood pressure checked once a year.
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Lifestyle Changes

Studies indicate that many people with slightly elevated blood pressure can bring about significant reductions in hypertension through lifestyle change:

  1. 1
    Get regular aerobic exercise program.
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  2. 2
    Lose weight if your are overweight.
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  3. 3
    Restrict dietary salt intake to NO more than 2,400 mg per day.
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  4. 4
    Try to reduce fats, especially saturated fats.
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  5. 5
    Eliminate or restrict alcohol consumption to less than two ounces per day.
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  6. 6
    If you smoke, QUIT!
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  7. 7
    the "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension" (DASH) diet:
     
    1. Eat 8 to 10 fruits and vegetables per day. One serving is equal to 1 medium apple, 1/2 cup of fruit, 3/4 cup of juice, 1 cup of leafy vegetables or 1/2 cup of other vegetables.
    2. Get adequate potassium each day, 3.5 mg.
    3. Get 2, 1/2 to 3 servings of dairy products daily. One serving is one cup of mile or yogurt, 1 to 1, 1/2 ounces of low fact cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese.
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Medications

If you have gone through diagnosis for high blood pressure, your doctor may use the "stepped approach" to treatment, beginning with diuretics (medications known as "water pills" that increase fluid loss) and progressing to drugs that act directly on the blood vessels, heart, and blood chemistry.

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It is crucial that you comply with the treatment program your doctor prescribes if your are diagnosed with hypertension. If you have problems with any part of the program, discuss them with your doctor. Long-term follow-up care is important. Your doctor will decide how often follow-up visits should be scheduled, based on the severity of your hypertension, treatment response, and other factors.

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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Screening clinics and some dental clinics can provide easy access to blood pressure information.
  • Always heck with your doctor before you start an exercise program.
  • For potassium, good sources are winter squash, bananas, orange juice, and potatoes.
  • The goal of medical treatment is to control hypertension while creating as few side as possible.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Physical Health

Recent edits by: Anonymous, Eng, Reema

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