Hypertension management is an umbrella term for a collection of strategies that can lower high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, hypertension management can decrease your risk for heart problems and certain diseases. If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, it is important to learn more about medications, lifestyle changes and other ways to manage this condition and improve your health.
The Dangers of Hypertension
While hypertension can persist for years without any symptoms, the increased pressure over time damages the walls of the blood vessels, placing you at high risk for heart attack and stroke. Other dangerous complications associated with high blood pressure include aneurysm, metabolic syndrome, cognitive difficulties such as memory loss and weakened blood vessels in the kidneys, eyes and other organs. Since hypertension does not usually cause symptoms, it’s important to be screened for this condition every two years, or more often if recommended by your primary doctor.
In many cases, hypertension management involves a combination of diet and exercise. Our doctor may recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy. You should also strive to get plenty of potassium and avoid foods with trans fats, saturated fats and sodium. People at high risk for hypertension, including those older than age 51, African Americans and those with related health issues, should strive to consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day.
Regular exercise will also lower your blood pressure. Most adults should strive for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, as well as at least two days of strengthening activities, such as weight training.
If you have health problems, our doctor can help you determine the best exercise regimen. If you need to get your blood pressure numbers in check, you should also avoid alcohol, quit smoking and take steps to relieve stress, such as meditation or yoga.
Blood Pressure Medications
If your blood pressure is in the highest category or if you have been unable to control it with diet and exercise alone, medication may be necessary. During a consultation at Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, our doctor can evaluate you and help you determine what hypertension management treatment plan is best for you. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more.