Welcome to a new month and a new wellness topic! For the month of October, I will focus on bringing awareness to chronic health diseases and conditions. I will peel back the layers regarding what causes chronic health conditions, common signs and symptoms, risk factors and complications, and how you can prevent and manage these conditions to lead a healthy life. So whether you are seeking to prevent chronic health conditions or wanting to learn more about how you can manage your chronic health condition this series will provide simple and basic answers for both of these concerns.
To kickstart this series I am going to define and give you a better understanding of what high blood pressure is and how you can prevent and manage this condition.
High blood pressure is described as a condition in which the amount of pressure put on the walls of the artery of the heart is abnormally high and this abnormality continues for a consistent or prolonged period of time.
There are two causes that can contribute to the development of High Blood Pressure they are described as being primary or secondary. Primary high blood pressure conditions of high blood pressure do not have a known cause or reason and develop gradually over a period of months and years. Secondary high blood pressure conditions are linked to an underlying health condition such as obstructive sleep apnea, kidney issues, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid complications, and certain medications such as hormonal birth control. With secondary high blood pressure can appear suddenly and rapidly.
There are generally no outward signs and symptoms that present themselves when one has an issue with high blood pressure. The few signs and symptoms that present themselves usually occur when the blood pressure becomes dangerously high and include headaches, shortness of breath and nosebleeds.
Common risk factors that are associated with high blood pressure are:
- Age- the more mature you become and the more you advance in age the greater your risks are of developing issues with high blood pressure.
- Race and Ethnic Background-high blood pressure is more common in those of African descent and also has an earlier onset.
- Genetics-your risk is increased if there is a high instance of high blood pressure in your family history.
- Sedentary Lifestyle-failing to follow a regular and consistent fitness routine causes the body to have higher heart rates which contribute to the onset of high blood pressure.
- Tobacco Use- practicing the habit of smoking or chewing tobacco causes a spike in your blood pressure and also cause the lining of the arterial walls to shrink and become damaged.
- Poor Nutrition-Following a diet that is high in sodium and low in potassium can cause the body to retain excess amounts of water which can contribute to high blood pressure
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption- over a consistent period of time heavy drinking can cause damage to the heart and contribute to heart disease.
- Chronic Stress- high levels of stress can cause blood pressure levels to increase and become heightened especially when experienced for a prolonged period of time.
- Chronic Health Conditions- there are other chronic health conditions that contribute to high blood pressure becoming an issue such as kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
Complications that can arise from undiagnosed or mismanaged high blood pressure are:
- Heart Attack
- Heart Failure
- Impaired Kidney Function
- Vision Issues
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Impaired Cognitive Function and Memory
Now that you have a better understanding of what exactly high blood pressure is, and how it affects your health and well-being let’s dive into learning ways to properly prevent and manage this chronic health condition.
Proper Health Screenings
Making sure you get yearly physicals that include blood-work, and having your blood pressure checked can help in detecting issues with high blood pressure. This is very important if you have an age, genetic risk, or family history of high blood pressure. Learning how to monitor your blood pressure in your own home and purchasing a blood pressure kit can help you keep an eye on your blood pressure on a regular basis.
- Following a well-balanced diet that focuses on whole, minimally processed foods.
- Consume foods that are low in sodium.
- Eat heart-healthy foods such as healthy fats and whole grains.
- Participate in cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, and interval cardio.
- Include regular strength based resistance training exercises.
- Focus on maintaining a healthy and manageable weight.
Wellness & Lifestyle Habits
- Say no to tobacco use
- Consume alcoholic beverages in moderation.
- Manage a healthy weight & lose weight if needed and recommended by your doctor.
- Commit to a regular and balanced exercise regimen that includes cardio and strength training.
- Transition to a heart-healthy diet.
- Work on managing stress and learning about stress management practices and activities.
- Quit tobacco use.
- Decrease and limit alcohol consumption.
Focus on Well-Being
High blood pressure is a serious and potentially deadly chronic health disease that can lead to serious and life-threatening complications. Making yourself more aware about your blood pressure as well as becoming familiar and knowledgeable in regards to your risk factors and making changes to specific lifestyle habits that contribute to the onset of high blood pressure can prove to be helpful in preventing this condition.
If you are struggling or want to learn more about how you can manage this condition make sure that you are working with your healthcare professional and seeking their counsel and following the directions they advise and recommend for you and looking for new opportunities and changes you can make in your nutrition, lifestyle and wellness habits that can help you better handle and maintain your blood pressure.
Schedule Your FREE Discovery Session
Do you struggle with a chronic health condition? Do you want to learn more about how you can decrease chronic health disease and conditions? If this is you I invite you to schedule a FREE Discovery Session where I can help you create health and wellness goals that will help you prevent the onset of chronic health disease, or manage your current chronic health condition without restrictive dieting, or calorie counting. Let’s talk more about transforming your health with Wellness Coaching.
Schedule Your FREE Discovery Session!