High blood pressure plays a role in an estimated 15 percent of deaths in the US. This statistic is a frightening one. It's especially so when you consider that this condition is one of the most preventable health problems. It affects roughly one third of Americans. Many of these sufferers are currently using meds to lower it.
Consider these statistics. According to the American Heart Association:
* Of the one third of US adults with this condition, an estimated 75 percent of them are aware of their condition. About one fourth are not.
* 90 to 95 percent of cases have no known or detectable cause.
* Between the years 1996 and 2006 the death rate from hypertension rose 10.5 percent.
This condition is a simple one to detect. All that's needed is a test which takes mere minutes to perform in a doctor's office. Yet about one quarter of those who suffer from it aren't aware they have a problem.
If you haven't seen a doctor or been hospitalized in a year or more, it's time for a check-up. Even if you have never previously had elevated blood pressure, an annual check-up is recommended. The sooner you detect a problem, the faster you can start on a protocol to correct it. This is particularly true of adults aged 40 and over.
About 25 percent of adults have pre-hypertension. This means that counts are elevated, but not considered to be in the "high" zone yet. Annual check-ups can catch it in this stage before it becomes a serious issue. You can find methods that are simple and effective and will nip the problem in the bud.
If you already know you have this condition, your doctor has probably instructed you on how to deal with it. He or she has likely prescribed high blood pressure meds to lower your count before it results in illness or death.
However, if you are only in the pre-hypertensive stage, you can lower your count naturally. Whether you are pre-hypertensive or in the danger zone, your treatment should include:
1) Losing weight: It's by far the best practiceyou can engage in. Excess weight is a proven cause of this disorder. Besides this, excess weight contributes to a whole other array of health problems. Some of these include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and congestive heart failure. When you lose weight and get to a healthy range, you lower your risk for all of these things.
2) Exercising regularly: Daily exercise helps to lower your numbers. You don't have to run a marathon to improve your condition. A brisk "power walk" of 30 minutes will do the trick. So will aerobic exercise.
Exercising helps your heart to become more efficient at using oxygen. This means that it doesn't have to expend as much energy to pump blood. This treatment is one of the easiest and least expensive (or free).
3) Eating right: This habit goes hand-in-hand with losing weight. Avoid excessive and unhealthy fats and starches. Focus on filling your plate at each meal with mostly fruits and vegetables.
You should also cut back or cut out on certain foods that contribute to the problem. Sodium is one of these. Caffeine is another. Become an experienced food-label reader so you know what's in the foods you buy.
You should especially strive to include produce that is rich in potassium. Potassium is a known natural suppressant of this malady. Some potassium-rich fruits and vegetables include bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, kidney beans, cantaloupe and more. Try to get between 2000 and 4000 mg of potassium per day.
4) Taking a health supplement: If you can't get enough daily potassium from the foods you eat, a potassium supplement may be in order. Co-enzyme Q10 may also help lower hypertension levels. You may also benefit from a natural, holistic meds like Alistrol.
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