The Pressure’s on – High Blood Pressure Goes High Tech
High Blood Pressure or Hypertension, is responsible for approximately 7.1 million deaths globally every year. If that number doesn’t impress you, try these on for size: approximately one out of three U.S adults has hypertension; in 2006, records indicate that 326,000 Americans died from blood pressure-related deaths; and in 2010, blood pressure cost the U.S an estimated $76.6 billion; and to make matters worse, these numbers are expected to rise exponentially. Now, the kicker (drum roll please): studies indicate that hypertension can be prevented.
What’s that? Yes, high blood pressure may be prevented if you follow a few simple guidelines. But first, let’s talk about the causes of hypertension. We really don’t know what causes hypertension but do know that a combination of family history, poor diet, lack of exercise, excess weight and stress are primary contributing factors. Americans seem to score higher than other countries when it comes to excessive blood pressures levels in part due to our western diet and lifestyle choices.
Okay, got it. Now how do I get rid of it?
- Eat a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and fiber and low in saturated fats. If you don’t like your veggies, Dr. McBarron recommends super fruit-rich Antioxidant Formula as well as Blood Pressure Formula by Vita Logic for proper blood pressure maintenance. The D.A.S.H Diet Action Plan (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is also an excellent guide.
- Limit caffeinated beverages, salt intake and alcohol consumption.
- Stop smoking.
- Watch your weight. Excess weight not only elevates blood pressure but also places a strain on your heart.
- Be active. Studies indicate sedentary people are at higher risk of developing hypertension. A moderate exercise program not only helps lower blood pressure but also helps keep weight under control.
- Eliminate stress from your daily life. No surprise here– the hustle and bustle of modern living can take its toll. Take a moment to relax and decompress.
- Rest. Studies indicate individuals who are unable to sleep are at risk of developing hypertension over time.
I’m doing the right things but how do I know it’s working?
Monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis. Blood pressure cuffs or sphygmomanometer s (I love saying that word) are more affordable these days. Additionally, there are a variety of clinics, pharmacies and even fire stations with EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) who can take your blood pressure for free. There are also new phone applications for the iPod, iPad and iPhone smartphones that can help you monitor your blood pressure for as little as $0.99. I am sure additional applications for the Android and Blackberry are soon to follow.
Phone apps to help you monitor your blood pressure…who knew? Albeit, very cool, phone apps may be the way of the future, but it’s not as fun to say as ‘sphygmomanometer’. Kinda rolls off your tongue doesn’t it?
American Heart Association: Blood Pressure
Centers for Disease Control: Blood Pressure Facts
Peachtree Natural Foods: Hypertension
Phones Review: Top 5 Good Pressure Monitor IOS Apps