About 75 million American adults (29%) have hypertension – that’s 1 in 3 American adults. It greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. With such a common affliction, it’s good to know how you can arm yourself and prevent this silent killer.
Unfortunately, this illness has no warning signs, which is why it is so dangerous. In a few cases, people have been known to experience headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath, but these symptoms aren’t specific and usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage. With that in mind, the best way to avoid hypertension caused by high blood pressure is to observe a set of easy-to-follow lifestyle choices:
- Get your blood pressure checked regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet
- Be physically active
- Limit alcohol use
- Don’t smoke
- Prevent or treat diabetes
It is always smart to remember that you should not attempt to diagnose yourself. Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years, starting at age 18. If you are age 40 or older, it is good to get it checked yearly. Prevention is key and the earlier you start paying attention to what your body needs, the better off your chances will be at preventing and spotting this deadly affliction before it causes you damage.