Blood Pressure Management | Maryland Health Coach | Body Refined

WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

High blood pressure is often referred to as hypertension. It is when the force of the blood flowing through your blood vessels (blood pressure), is consistently too high.

High Blood pressure makes your heart and blood vessels work harder and less efficiently because of the increased workload. This increased workload damages the lining of the arteries. Leaving room along the tiny tears in the artery wall for plaque build up from bad (LDL) cholesterol.

As the plaque builds up, the arteries become narrower thus raising blood pressure. This causes further harm to your arteries, heart and the rest of your body which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

WHAT CAUSES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Around 1 in every 20 cases of hypertension is due to an underlying condition or even a medication.

Chronic kidney disease is a common cause because the kidneys do not filter out fluids. Excess fluids lead to hypertension.

But there are several risk factors that increases the chances of developing hypertension:

  • Age: For those that are 60 years and older, if habits do not change, arteries becomes stiffer and narrower due to plaque buildup.
  • Ethnicity: Some ethnic groups are more prone to high blood pressure.
  • Size and weight: Being overweight or obese is a key risk factor
  • Alcohol and tobacco: Consuming large amounts of alcohol and smoking regularly can increase blood pressure.
  • Existing Health Conditions: Cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and diabetes can lead to hypertension. People with diabetes are at greater risk to develop elevated blood pressure.

Additionally, living a predominantly sedentary lifestyle (physical inactivity) and a sodium rich diet of processed, fatty foods and a low potassium diet can lead to high blood pressure.

Heart.org states that “African-Americans are among the highest in the world. More than 40 percent of non-Hispanic African-Americans have high blood pressure. For African-Americans, high blood pressure develops earlier in life and is usually more severe.” This is due to the higher rates of obesity and diabetes driven mainly by salty-fatty diets and sedentary lifestyle.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IS A SILENT BUT DEADLY RISK

Many people don’t even know they have high blood pressure because there are no obvious symptoms. High blood pressure develops slowly over time and if you don’t know the signs or symptoms, you can easily be caught off guard.

Once you have high blood pressure, the damage is already done, and it can’t be cured.

According to goredforwomen.org, high blood pressure can lead to:

  • Heart attack — High blood pressure damages arteries that can become blocked and prevent blood flow to the heart muscle.
  • Stroke — High blood pressure can cause blood vessels in the brain to clog more easily or even burst.
  • Heart failure — The increased workload from high blood pressure can cause the heart to enlarge and fail to supply blood to the body.
  • Kidney disease or failure — High blood pressure can damage the arteries around the kidneys and interfere with their ability to filter blood effectively.
  • Vision loss — High blood pressure can strain or damage blood vessels in the eyes.
  • Sexual dysfunction — High blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction in men or lower libido in women.
  • Angina — Over time, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease or microvascular disease (MVD). Angina, or chest pain, is a common symptom.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD) — Atherosclerosis caused by high blood pressure can cause a narrowing of arteries in the legs, arms, stomach and head, causing pain or fatigue.

And most concerning, high blood pressure is often associated with high blood sugar, high levels of triglycerides, low level of good cholesterol and large waist circumference.

If you have at least three of the before mentioned risk factors, you have what is called Metabolic Syndrome. This raises your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other problems.

BLOOD PRESSURE MANAGEMENT

Managing hypertension involves lifestyle changes and possibly medication, depending on the severity.

The blood pressure goal is systolic < 120 mmHg and diastolic < 80 mmHg while patients with diabetes, the goal is systolic < 130 mmHg and diastolic < 80 mmHg.

You can lower your blood pressure by eating a diet with more fruits, vegetables, lower fat and reduced sodium. Quit smoking, limit your alcohol consumption and getting regular exercise such a 30-minute brisk walk every day.

And depending on the severity or stage classification of your blood pressure numbers, there are several types of drugs used to help get your blood pressure under control while you make the lifestyle changes.

Those drugs include: ACE inhibitors, receptor blockers, diuretics, beta-blockers and several others.

If you have been prescribed blood pressure medication, don’t stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor.

Finally, the American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor. Especially if you have just started high blood pressure treatment, you require close monitoring or experience pregnancy-induced hypertension.

When using the home monitor, be sure to stay still, sit correctly per the monitor instructions, measure at the same time every day and don’t take the measurement over your clothes.

WHY CHOOSE BODY REFINED TO HELP YOU WITH BLOOD PRESSURE MANAGEMENT

After being diagnosed with high blood pressure, you and your doctor will create a plan. Generally, your plan will consist of losing weight if your BMI is ≥ 25 kg/m2, implementing the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, decreasing your sodium consumption, increasing your physical activity, moderating or eliminating alcohol intake, smoking cessation, and stress reduction.

These recommended changes to your diet and lifestyle can be challenging in the real-world, YOUR real-world. Committing to a plan that you can actually stick with to control your high blood pressure is based on the intricate details of YOUR life.

With Body Refined, the Lifestyle Management plan will help you to personalize your blood pressure treatment plan to put you in better position to execute the plan designed by you and your doctor. Kurt, the Health Coach with Body Refined, will work closely with you to design a nutrition plan that consists of fruits, vegetables, grains, and limitations on sodium, saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol as detailed in the DASH eating plan. He will also, create a physical activity plan that fits your current state of health with moderate progressions to slowly but surely improve your cardiovascular health.

Additionally, as part of the Lifestyle Management program, you and Kurt will develop strategies for managing unavoidable stress by making proactive plans to allow you to stick to your blood pressure treatment plan.

To help keep from falling off the plan, you will have weekly calls to discuss the ups and downs you personally experience. Making the necessary adjustments to your plan, as needed, to be more manageable for you. Giving you the assurance, you need to get right back on track.

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CONTACT INFO
kurtdixon@bodyrefinedinc.com
Local: (240) 207-4470
Toll Free: (844) 899-4846

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