Ocean Keys Family Practice
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Blood pressure is the measure of pressure that is produced when blood is moved throughout the body by the heart. To measure blood pressure, a cuff is usually wrapped around your upper arm. A normal measurement is 120/80. Numbers that are persistently lower than this can signal hypotension, or low blood pressure. This can be relative, on a person-to-person basis, and is only considered troublesome if it shows poorly on your health. Numbers constantly higher than 120/80 can signal hypertension, or high blood pressure. High blood pressure can be hidden because you may feel perfectly fine. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to check it often.
Consistent high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems. Risk factors for high blood pressure include: smoking, being overweight, being physically inactive, having diabetes, having high cholesterol, being socially isolated, and having depression. Lifestyle changes that contradict the risk factors are important to combating high blood pressure. A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity of physical exercise in a 24 hour period can be helpful if you have high blood pressure. Some types of exercises (weightlifting or body presses) should not be done and all exercise should always be cleared by your physician.
A heart-healthy diet is important when managing high blood pressure. Eating from a variety of food groups like: vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, oily fish, fruit, reduced-fat, low-fat or no-fat dairy products, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated vegetable and seed oils, and nuts, seeds and legumes. Reducing salt intake is also important. Some have found increasing their potassium intake helpful but this recommendation may not be suitable for those with kidney problems or are already taking certain medicines. Taking an antihypertensive, high blood pressure medication, may be recommended by your physician. It will allow you to manage your high blood pressure if taken at the same time every day. Always follow the advice of your doctor when taking medication.