Just the Facts | Combating the Silent Killer: Hypertension
1,100 Daily: the number of U.S. Deaths attributed to Hypertension, aka High Blood Pressure.
Unfortunately, hypertension fatalities are not exclusive in age, gender, shape, ethnicity or culture. The damage wrought by the additional pressure of blood against artery walls can lead the body to become vulnerable to strokes, heart disease or death. The World Health Organization attributes diets high in sodium and the rise of processed foods as driving the epidemic.
Since only 20% of Americans are aware they have hypertension, it is not unusual that this condition is known as “the silent killer.” High blood pressure can have few if any signs including difficulty sleeping, increased anxiety, sweating and blushing. A hypertensive crisis may even include headaches and nosebleeds.
How to Stay Alert?
Monitor Your Blood Pressure: Whether you are one of the 1 in 5 Americans with a hypertension diagnosis or not, staying aware of your levels could save your life and the heartache of loved ones.
Know Your Zone: Our blood pressure is measured with most every check-up and presents two numbers. Systolic is the first reading, which represents the pressure on blood vessels with each heartbeat. Diastolic is the second number, captures the pressure of the blood vessels between heartbeats.
Normal Zone - Systolic Less than 120mmHG | Diastolic Less than 80mmHG
At Risk (Prehypertension) - Systolic 120-139mmHG | Diastolic 80-89mmHG
High Zone - Systolic 140mmHG or higher | Diastolic 90mmHG or higher
Manage Your Stress: Exercise. Meditate. Take Breaks. Drink Water. Talk it Out.
Eat a Healthy Diet: Keep Sodium Levels to 5g/day or less. Increase fruit and vegetables. Reduce fat intake. Hydrate!
Maintain Your Physical Activity: A body in motion stays in motion. Remain conscious of your steps per day. Take a flight of stairs when possible. Stand from a chair or couch once an hour and walk 10-15 minutes for circulation. And, if it isn't in your schedule -- make exercise a priority, perhaps with a buddy.
Minimize Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol is embraced as a social lubricant and a way to "take of the edge." In addition to reducing inhibitions, it is also noted to break down organ functions throughout the body. Live your best life by keeping drinks with "a kick" to a minimum.