In 2014, 410,000 Americans lost their lives with hypertension as a primary or contributing cause.1 Even more surprising is that more than half of hypertensive Americans do not take medications to control Blood Pressure. 1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that uncontrolled hypertension is the leading cause of heart attacks.1 In fact, hypertension is far more sinister because it affects Blood vessels that feed all vital organs and it does so in a clandestine manner.
Hypertension is a silent killer
In hypertensive patients, arterial damage can occur for years without any obvious signs.2 One in five Americans with hypertension don’t know they have it.2 In fact, the earliest symptoms of hypertension appear at an advanced stage.2,8,9,12 As a result, it often remains undiagnosed for years. Regular blood Pressure checks are the only way to monitor and assess risk.
Even hypertensive symptoms are inconspicuous. Hypertension manifests with often ignored symptoms like headache and fatigue. So early diagnosis remains a challenge. Most patients seek medical help only when they face severe symptoms like chest pain, blood in the urine or breathing difficulties.
Kidneys, lungs, eyes, all affected by one condition
One of the first organs that hypertension debilitates is your kidney.3 The renal artery, 7,10 the vessel carrying blood towards the kidney, stiffens leading to increased blood pressure in this region. This condition is known as renal hypertension. 3,7 A condition that follows from renal hypertension is chronic kidney disease, 7,10,12 which impedes the kidney’s abilities to filter off our body’s toxic wastes.
Hypertension can also disrupt blood vessels in your eyes. Untreated it can increase the blood pressure of the retinal passages.6 The condition, known as hypertensive retinopathy, can be treated only by controlling your blood pressure numbers.
Untreated hypertension can precipitate medical event where a patient cannot breathe normally and feels dizzy. The underlying condition, where fluid fills in the lungs, is known as pulmonary edema. For severely hypertensive patients, this can happen at anytime. 4,9 So, controlling blood pressure is paramount.9
Maintain blood pressure numbers by multipronged exercises
It’s no secret that regular exercises improve heart health and that they maintain blood pressure numbers consistently. We also know that maintaining blood pressure numbers is key to managing hypertension. But what many people aren’t aware of is that activating more muscles during workouts augments the effects of blood pressure medications. 8 So while on blood pressure medicines, a varied exercise regime is better. For example, yoga + sport with some meditation, is more balanced than any one alone. We have always been told that we should balance our meals. It makes logical and intuitive sense that we should do the same for exercise.
1. High Blood Pressure Fact Sheet
2. A Visual Guide to High Blood Pressure
3. What Is Renal Hypertension?
4. 5 Misconceptions About High Blood Pressure
5. Your High Blood Pressure and Sex Life Assessment
6. Ocular Hypertension
7. Renal Artery Stenosis
8. Frequently Asked Questions About High Blood Pressure
9. High Blood Pressure and Hypertensive Crisis
10. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) for High Blood Pressure
11. High Blood Pressure and Diuretics (Water Pills)
12. Hypertension Assessment
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