The Pressure of Hypertension

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The Pressure of hypertension:

25% of patient don’t take their blood pressure pills
3/4 of patient that have hypertension do not control it.
1 in every 3 adults have hypertension
Heart Attack:  7 of every 10 people that have their first heart attack have high blood pressure
Strokes:  About 8 of every 10 people having their first stroke have high blood pressure
Cardiomyopathy:  About 7 of every 10 people with chronic heart failure have hypertension
Kidney disease is also a major risk factor for high blood pressure

In the old days we used to use a pressure cooker to make a roast.  I remember that cooker on the stove, it had a top that would become hot and whistle when it was ready to pop.  You could see the steam peculating out of the top of the pot.  I often think about that pressure cooker when I think about blood pressure.

A blood pressure problem is when the circulating blood is under a lot of pressure in the pipes.  The top number signifies the amount of pressure it takes the heart to beat, the second number signifies the amount of pressure that exist when the heart is suppose to be relaxing.  Normally a blood pressure is best under 130 on the top number and under 85 on the bottom number.  If your blood pressure is running in high gear your organs are getting a pressurized blood flow and it can damage your organs.  Specifically the kidneys, the heart, the brain, and the eyes show the most debilitating signs of damage from a blood pressure gone wild.  The top leading causes of death in our country are heart attacks and stokes and the primary cause is high blood pressure.

Learn about your blood pressure.  As your age is going up so does your blood pressure.

If you have high blood pressure there are things that you can do.  You can watch your salt intake.  Some reports show that limiting salt intake can be equal to one blood pressure medication.  If you get off the salt it can bring the blood pressure down about 10 points top and bottom.  Where are all the hidden salts in your diet?  Salt is in everything we eat.  If you are into reading labels it is listed as sodium on the label.  The salt requirements of a low sodium diet is less than 2000 mg.

Salt is hidden in all of our foods and drinks.  Check the labels on the foods you eat.  An easy thought is anything that is processed, soups, lunch meats, ham, any can goods, cheese, popcorn, all chips and bagged snacks.  Short story, everything!!!

The best defense against high blood pressure is knowing your numbers.  The only way to consistently know your blood pressure is to buy a blood pressure cuff on your own.  It is worth your life to spend the money on a good blood pressure machine.  Don’t buy the wrist machine unless your arm is to large for a cuff.  When you buy a cuff be sure you have the right size. Very important.   When you take your blood pressure be sure you are sitting 5 minutes, with your arm on the table, no eating or chewing or drinking while you are taking your blood pressure.  Also don’t smoke 30 minutes before you check it.

Always bring your blood pressure machine and medication to your doctor appointments.

Weigh loss is also another way to avoid high doses of blood pressure medications.  Start with 10% weight loss over  a few months to assist in getting your blood pressure to goal.

Many people complain of the number of medications that they take.  Blood pressure medications each reduce the blood pressure about 10 points top and bottom.  Some do better than this and some less.  So check your blood pressure and know your numbers.

Blood pressure medication does not kick in the same day you start it.  Usually by three or four weeks you are getting the benefits of your medications.

Some studies show that you get better control by splitting up your medications 12 hours apart so that you get a full 24 hour coverage.

Why does blood pressure cause problems?  It blows out the organs.  So thoughtfully decide before you don’t take your pills.  Are you willing to take a grenade to your kidneys and blow them up or enlarge your heart until it can no longer pump?

Take your health serious.  Take you blood pressure serious.  If you don’t want to take medication, or do salt restriction then please, please know your numbers.  You can not ignore the devastating effects on your heart, kidneys and brain.  Eventually the blood pressure will blow you up if you are not keeping it in the normal range.