Stop High Blood Pressure
Are you about to become a victim of a silent killer? How would
you know if you were on its hit list?
Most often, high blood pressure (hypertension) has no symptoms.
It attacks people of all ages and backgrounds.
This common criminal strikes without warning. And it may leave
death and destruction in its path. Its calling card? Stroke,
heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, blindness and more.
But you can stop this silent killer-if you catch it in time.
CONFRONT THE KILLER
Don't become high blood pressure's next
victim. Confront the killer and stop it in its tracks. Start by
learning the facts about blood pressure and how it gets high.
Then check your blood pressure as often as your doctor suggests.
Spring into action if your blood pressure is too high.
LEARN THE FACTS
CHECK YOUR PRESSURE
You need blood pressure to live. But high
blood pressure increases your risk of stroke, heart attack,
heart failure, kidney failure and blindness. Learn how to lower
If your blood pressure is high, you may be
under attack by this silent killer and not even know it. So get
your pressure checked. It's easy, painless and quick!
FOLLOW YOUR PLAN
You can control high blood pressure if you
have a plan. All it takes is regular health check-ups, simple
changes in what you eat, exercise and, sometimes, medication.
ASSESS YOUR RISK
The silent killer may be after you and you
may not even know it. Although high blood pressure can attack
anyone, some people are at greater risk than others. Read
through the statements below. How many of them apply to you?
Each statement that applies to you increases your risk for high
blood pressure. Read on to learn how to keep this silent killer
• You smoke.
• You often eat salty, fried or greasy food.
• You often have more than two alcoholic drinks (a total of 1
ounce of pure alcohol) a day.
• You often feel very stressed.
• You have a "sit-down" lifestyle (you don't get much exercise
at work or at home).
• You are over age 60. • A parent, brother
or sister has had high blood pressure, heart disease, or a
• You're African-American.
YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY
• You are overweight.
• Your cholesterol level is over 200.
• You have diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or arterial
disease of the legs.
• You've had a stroke.
• It's been more than a year since you had your blood pressure
CHOOSE AHEALTIN LIFESTYLE
When you choose a healthy lifestyle, the
silent killer has fewer chances to make an attack. Making
lifestyle changes can help lower your blood pressure and give
you a new sense of pride. Each of the tips listed here may help
lower your blood pressure. But you may feel overwhelmed if you
try them all at once. Ask your doctor for advice about where to
begin. And use your resources to support your healthy new
lifestyle. These resources can include family, friends, your
employer's medical or health department, community groups, and
your local hospital.
Aerobic exercise makes your heart and
blood vessels work better. It can also help you lose weight.
Walking, bicycling and swimming are all good aerobic choices.
For best results, exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days_
Check with your doctor before doing strength-training exercises.
They may increase your blood pressure. If you'd like to exercise
with a group, check with your employer, community education
center, or local fitness club.
And be sure to see your doctor before beginning any exercise
WATCH YOUR WEIGHT
Losing weight may lower your blood
pressure to a normal level. Or it may allow your doctor to
reduce or stop your medication. Check with your doctor to find
out what your target weight should be and how to get there.
Exercising most days and cutting back on salt and fat are good
first steps to controlling your weight. Also, think about
joining a weight-loss support group through your employer or
KEEP STRESS UNDER CONTROL
Ongoing stress causes your heart to work
harder and faster. It also constricts your blood vessels, which
increases your blood pressure. You can't avoid all stress. But
you can learn to control it through relaxation techniques,
exercise, and a positive attitude. See if your employer, doctor,
local hospital, or community groups offer stress reduction
classes. You can also find tips on stress management in books
and tapes. Don't forget that laughter may be the best stress
reliever of all.
Smoking increases blood pressure and
damages blood vessels. It's also a risk factor for stroke and
heart disease. If you quit smoking, you reduce your risk and
make your control plan work even better.
Having more than two alcoholic drinks (a
total of 1 ounce of pure alcohol) on most days may raise your
blood pressure. Instead, drink juice, low calorie soft drinks,
or low-salt mineral.