High Blood Pressure - Know the Risks!

High Blood Pressure
by Deb Woelfel, MHT, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator 
 
High Blood Pressure can increase your risk for which of the following diseases?
Select all that you think apply.
  1. Stroke
  2. Heart failure or heart attack
  3. Vision loss
  4. Kidney disease/failure
  5. Sexual dysfunction
If you selected all of them, you are correct!  High blood pressure has been called a "silent killer" because most people don't have any symptoms of high blood pressure. When your blood pressure is high it causes damage to the tissue walls inside the arteries resulting in the above problems. Of course this doesn't happen with one high blood pressure.  It is when your blood pressure is consistently high. How do you know if you have high blood pressure? Have your blood pressure checked and then see where you fall in the following guidelines:
  • Normal Blood Pressure- <120/80
  • Pre-hypertension (high blood pressure)-120/80 to 139/89 range
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)->140/90
The good news about high blood pressure is that there are steps you can take to improve it.  Don't smoke or quit if you do smoke, follow a healthy diet, lose weight if you need to and exercise daily.
Looking for more information on high blood pressure? Check out the following links: