According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 47 percent of adults in the United States are living with hypertension—a condition in which the blood pressure is chronically elevated, exceeding 130/80 mmHg.
If you’re a statistic, it’s not enough that you merely rely on your medications to manage your condition—getting involved in your treatment is of paramount importance.
Below are a few strategies you can employ to effectively keep your blood pressure in check and consequently minimize your risk of developing potentially life-threatening conditions, such as stroke and heart attack.
o Modify your diet and lifestyle.
Make sure to eat a well-balanced, low-sodium diet—whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and fatty fish or lean meats. Excessive sodium intake is one of the major culprits in hypertension.
You should also exercise on a regular basis. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week can greatly help you maintain normal blood pressure.
If you smoke, it is important that you quit. The nicotine in cigarettes narrows and hardens your arteries and forces your heart to work a lot harder than normal, thereby increasing your blood pressure.
Stress may contribute to high blood pressure, especially if you’re already living with it. Experts suggest that the spike in cortisol levels that occur when you get exposed to stressful situations can cause your heart rate to elevate and your blood vessels to narrow. Moreover, stress can cause you to resort to unwholesome habits, such as eating unhealthy food, smoking, and drinking alcohol.
Meditation, exercise, immersing yourself in a creative outlet, and socializing are great ways to manage your stress and keep your blood pressure under control.
o Regularly monitor your blood pressure at home.
Regularly monitoring your blood pressure at home enables you to keep tabs on your blood pressure and alert your doctor of any changes you find alarming. Blood pressure monitors are widely available and can be purchased without any prescription.
o Work closely with your doctor.
Seeing your doctor regularly is central to effectively managing your blood pressure. It allows your doctor to make adjustments to your medications when necessary. Your doctor can also advise you on how often you should monitor your blood pressure, especially if they have made recent changes to your treatment plan.
Hypertension Management in Greater Boston, Massachusetts
At Commonwealth Nephrology Associates, our highly skilled and experienced nephrologists are dedicated to delivering exceptional treatment outcomes not only for the entire range of kidney diseases but also for hypertension. We also delight in setting aside our time to help our patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options as well as encourage them to be involved in their own health care.
If you have any questions about our services or would like to make an appointment, contact our friendly staff today at (617) 739-2100 or fill out our appointment request form. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!