Who it affects:
Hypertension can affect all people but there are certain factors that put you in a high risk category. These include age, race (African Americans) , family history, overweight, decreased physical activity, and tobacco use (MayoClinic.com, 2011).
What is it?
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure (MayoClinic.com, 2011).
What You Need to Know:
High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because people do not know they have the condition. There are many places to be checked for free such as pharmacies or places in some malls. If your blood pressure is greater than 120/80 talk to your doctor.
Coping and support
High blood pressure isn't a problem that you can treat and then ignore. It's a condition you need to manage for the rest of your life. To keep your blood pressure under control:
Take your medications properly. If side effects or costs pose problems, don't stop taking your medications. Ask your doctor about other options.
Schedule regular doctor visits. It takes a team effort to treat high blood pressure successfully. Your doctor can't do it alone, and neither can you. Work with your doctor to bring your blood pressure to a safe level — and keep it there.
Adopt healthy habits. Eat healthy foods, lose excess weight and get regular physical activity. Limit alcohol. If you smoke, quit.
Manage stress. Say no to extra tasks, release negative thoughts, maintain good relationships, and remain patient and optimistic.