Okay, so you’ve thought for years you have normal blood pressure, and suddenly the doctor tells you that you have high blood pressure, and that you can fall victim to heart disease, strokes and other nasties unless you do something about it!
And you can do something about your high blood pressure. See our Hypertension Treatment Options section to learn about your options.
Fair enough; a bit of a surprise maybe, but okay, what do you do about it?
And then he tells you. You’ve been having enough trouble trying to quit smoking, and now he wants you to lose weight (try doing that when you’re trying to kick nicotine), follow a strict hypertension diet, start exercising, and learn about stress management. To top it all off, he wants you to keep alcohol consumption to moderate levels.
The Dangers of Hypertension
High blood pressure can wreak havoc on your health over time. Some of hypertension’s more common complications include:
- Heart attack
- Kidney disease
- Clogged arteries
Your first thought might be that normal blood pressure and the joys of life are mutually exclusive. Your second is likely to be disbelief. How are you supposed to do all that? You don’t want a heart attack, but if you try doing all this at once you’ll need some stress management to avoid one. Your blood pressure went up just listening to all that!
The key to success is to start with one thing at a time. Ask your doctor which change you should start with, and remember that these lifestyle changes overlap. A hypertension diet cuts out a lot of fat and salt, which leads to weight loss. Weight loss leads to more energy, which makes it easier to exercise, which makes it easier to lose weight.
Exercise is often part of a stress management program. Stress management improves your self-esteem, which makes it easier to stick to your hypertension diet, which makes it easier to lose weight, etc.
Think of the changes you make as a snowball rolling down a hill. You start off small, but by the time the snowball reaches the bottom of the hill, it’s gained momentum and size. This site can help you form the smaller snowball you need to get things moving. You may never have normal blood pressure again, but you can take control of your life and lower your blood pressure significantly.