High Blood Pressure: A force to be reckoned with...
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. And this gives us a chance to throw the spotlight on
a danger many of our readers are dealing with every day...
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. When that force stays too
high, it becomes a life-threatening condition — high blood pressure (also called hypertension).
It makes the heart work too hard, hardens the walls of arteries, and can cause the brain to
hemorrhage or the kidneys to function poorly or not at all.
A blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher is considered high. Normal blood pressure
is less than 120/80 mmHg.
Who does high blood pressure impact?
More than 65 million American adults — 1 in 3 — have high blood pressure.
Nearly 60 million Americans are over age 55 which means they have a 90 percent
likelihood of developing high blood pressure in their lifetimes.
African Americans are more likely to develop high blood pressure than any other
racial or ethnic group and tend to develop it earlier and more severely than others.
18 million Americans have diabetes which increases their chances of
developing high blood pressure.
122 million American adults are overweight or obese which increases
their chances of developing high blood pressure.
Anyone can develop high blood pressure. But these factors increase the risk: being overweight or obese, being
physically inactive, high salt and sodium intake, low potassium intake, excessive alcohol consumption,
Why should you care about high blood pressure?
High blood pressure can lead to numerous other life-threatening conditions, including
heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure, the #1, #3, and #9 causes of death in the United States.
High blood pressure is a factor in 67 percent of heart attacks in the United States.
High blood pressure is a factor in 77 percent of strokes — the #3 cause of death in the United States.
High blood pressure precedes 74 percent of cases of heart failure in the United States.
High blood pressure is the second leading cause of chronic kidney failure in the
United States — responsible for 26 percent of all cases.
High blood pressure causes more visits to doctors than any other
condition — just a 10 percent decline in the number of visits would save $478 million each year.
High blood pressure affects circulation — creating a higher risk for mental
deterioration and Alzheimer's.
High blood pressure and its complications cost the U.S. economy more than $100 billion each year.
Know Your Numbers
Everyone needs to know their blood pressure numbers, as there are often no signs or symptoms of high
blood pressure. That is why high blood pressure is called the silent killer.
Normal Blood Pressure
Systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading, is key to watch — especially in older Americans.
Research shows that the effective treatment of high systolic blood pressure saves lives and greatly reduces illness.
Prehypertension (between 120/80 and/or 139/89 mmHg) presents more danger than earlier believed. The
59 million Americans with prehypertension are more likely to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney
Turning It Around
High blood pressure can be controlled. Better yet, it can be prevented. We have more knowledge about prevention
and better treatment options than ever before. Simple and often modest lifestyle changes can help prevent and
control high blood pressure, as well as improve overall health and quality of life.
If you're overweight, you gotta lose it.
Maintaining a healthy weight is the first, best thing you can do to control hypertension. Yet for most people, it's also the
hardest. If you're reading this article, it's likely you've taken an interest in your health as well as your weight. And
hopefully, you've also come to understand the importance of a diet low in high glycemic carbohydrates and high in nutrients
An estimated 65 percent of U.S. adults aged 20–74 are either overweight or obese. Obesity increases the
likelihood of developing high blood pressure and diabetes, both conditions that increase your chances of developing
Eat Healthy / Drink Healthy
Following an eating plan that emphasizes natural whole foods, plenty of vegetables, good sources of complete protein
and high levels of fiber can prevent and control high blood pressure. Calories and fat matter too. Keep your calories at
realistic levels and restrict trans fats as much as possible. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation
For men, that means a maximum of 2 drinks a day; for women, a maximum of 1.
Being physically active is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent or control high blood pressure.
It also helps reduce your risk of heart disease. More tips and resources to get started.
Smoking injures blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. It increases the
risk of stroke, heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, and several forms of cancer.
Control your blood sugar — Especially if you have diabetes.
This is a good chance to repeat the importance of a diet low in high glycemic carbohydrates and high in nutrients
and fiber — The best way to control blood glucose through diet.
Take medication as directed.
If eating a healthy low carb/low glycemic diet is not enough to effectively lower your blood pressure and you need
medication, make sure you understand what it's for and how and when to take it. Then take it as your doctor recommends.
Copyright © May 2006 Low Carb Luxury