I had a conversation with a family member who suffers from hypertension. She works in healthcare and was extremely startled to see firsthand how poorly some black Americans were handling their high blood pressure. After Thanksgiving, the influx of patients who were suffering tremendously from extreme hypertension brought her to tears. Our conversation encouraged me to write this post.
What are the symptoms of having high blood pressure?
According to the American Heart Association, “High blood pressure is a largely symptomless ‘silent killer.’ If you ignore your blood pressure because you think a certain symptom or sign will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life” (“What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure?”). So, basically, you may not see any signs or symptoms that indicate that your blood pressure is high.
Havard also reports that the “Systolic pressure [top blood pressure number] reflects the force produced by the heart when it pumps blood out to the body, while diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) is the pressure in your blood vessels when the heart is at rest . . . [And] most studies show a greater risk of stroke and heart disease related to higher systolic pressures compared with elevated diastolic pressures. That’s especially true in people ages 50 and older” . . . (“Black Americans & Heart Disease – Facts & Statistics”)
What are the consequences of having high blood pressure too long?
Although, the symptoms may not always be apparent, the consequences can be devastating. Here are just a few:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Kidney disease or failure
- Vision loss
- Sexual dysfunction
- Angina or microvascular disease (MVD)
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
See the Heart.org for a more comprehensive list.
According to Close the Gap Health Equity for life “The prevalence of high blood pressure (hypertension) in Black Americans is among the highest in the world, and it is increasing. Rates are particularly high for Black women.1″
If you suffer from high blood pressure this is what you should be doing now.
- Record Your Habits – GET A HEALTH JOURNAL.
It’s so important for you to start tracking your daily health habits. Write down what you’re eating and how you feel afterward. Also, jot down questions that you have about your body and your health. Don’t forget to check the seasonings you’re using to make sure they are not loaded with sodium.
- Exercise – GET UP AND MOVE.
Nobody’s saying that you need to join a gym or become a bodybuilder. Nope, you just need to move your body, whether it’s walking, running, biking, hiking, etc. Whatever activity that you can tolerate your body needs to move in order to burn calories and carbohydrates.
- Reduce Stressful Television Programs and Movies – JUST TURN IT OFF.
Well, you can watch these shows in moderation, but definitely, don’t watch or listen to them every day. Shows like Investigative Discovery and lifetime when taking you through the violence you’re watching onscreen emotionally. It will increase our adrenaline and have us emotionally traumatized.
- Ask for Support – SEEK HELP WHEN NEEDED.
No one person can do it all. Frankly, I know first hand about having a vision and wanting to do everything I can imagine, but when I don’t delegate or seek help, I’m only hurting myself. Without help, you may become overwhelmed.
- Implement Daily calming strategies – RELAX.
Do you know how to find peace in your day? If you work in a stressful situation then you need tools to help you cope on the fly. For example, here are
5 relaxation techniques you can try anywhere.
- Deep Breathing
- Close your eyes and meditate/pray
- Listen to calming music
- Massage your pressure points
- Write down your thoughts, draw a picture, or color.
Doctors can only do but so much, if you want to live a longer healthy lifestyle, you need to track your habits. Buy making yourself your own case study, when you go to appointments you’ll be able to give your doctor concrete information so that he or she can better assess your health. It can also help you make better-informed decisions.
It’s been 2 weeks since I shared these techniques with my family people who was extremely stressed. She called me this week to tell me that she is trying them and guess what? Her own blood pressure when from high to normal. She was so excited and told me that I should share this information with others, so folks here it is.
Please feel free to share this information with someone else too.
“What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure?”. Www.Heart.Org, 2018, http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/why-high-blood-pressure-is-a-silent-killer/what-are-the-symptoms-of-high-blood-pressure. Accessed 7 Dec 2018.
“Black Americans & Heart Disease – Facts & Statistics”. Your-Heart-Health.Com, 2018, http://www.your-heart-health.com/content/close-the-gap/en-US/heart-disease-facts/black-americans.html. Accessed 7 Dec 2018.
Publishing, Harvard. “Which Blood Pressure Number Is Important? – Harvard Health”. Harvard Health, 2018, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/which-blood-pressure-number-is-important?utm_source=delivra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=WR20181207-BloodPressure&utm_id=1143846&dlv-ga-memberid=10861138&mid=10861138&ml=1143846. Accessed 7 Dec 2018.
“This post may contain affiliate links. And is in no way is meant to give medical advice”
When I became pregnant, my small petite body ...