National Blood Pressure Month

One Third of Adults in America Have High Blood Pressure…

…and our patients are no exception.

Here at the Clearwater Free Clinic, many of our patients are discovered to have high blood pressure (or hypertension), that can lead to heart attack and stroke.  Just like the population as a whole, many of our patients are completely unaware of their hypertension, or they do not manage this “silent killer” well.  The first and most important step for every adult is to find out if you actually have hypertension.   If you do, there are steps you can take to get it under control, including—

  • Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be. Set a goal to lower your pressure with your doctor and then discuss how you can reach your goal.  Work with your health care team to make sure you meet that goal.
  • Take your blood pressure medication as directed. If you are having trouble, ask your doctor what you can do to make it easier.  For example, you may want to discuss your medication schedule with your doctor if you are taking multiple drugs at different times of the day.  Or you may want to discuss side effects you are feeling, or the cost of your medicine.
  • Quit smoking—and if you don’t smoke, don’t start. You can find tips and resources at CDC’s Smoking and Tobacco Web site or Be Tobacco Free Web site.
  • Reduce sodium. Most Americans consume too much sodium, and it raises blood pressure in most people.  Learn about tips to reduce your sodium.

There are other healthy habits, that can help keep your blood pressure under control—

  • Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Participate in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.
  • Eat a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium, saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol.
  • Manage stress.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink (no more than one drink each day for women and two for men).
  • Check your blood pressure regularly.

Via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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