May is High Blood Pressure Education Month, and a good time to remember how important heart health really is. Nearly half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and of those individuals, only 1 in 4 have their condition under control.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and heart failure in New Jersey. High blood pressure is commonly called “the silent killer,” because it often does not present symptoms until it is too late. However, there are steps you can take to be aware of your blood pressure status and work towards reversing hypertension if necessary:
• Regularly monitor your blood pressure. This can be done at home with self-measurement tools, at a pharmacy, or by your healthcare team.
• Take blood pressure medication as prescribed. This can be confusing, but your physician should work with you and your loved ones to ensure you understand your medications and how to properly take them.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese greatly increases your likelihood of having or developing high blood pressure. Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly will help to shed excess pounds and also contributes to lower blood pressure.
• Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and too much salt in your diet. Also make sure you are getting enough potassium in your diet – your physician can help you determine whether you need more of this nutrient.
• Get adequate sleep and manage stress. Poor sleep quality and chronic stress can both contribute to hypertension.
This High Blood Pressure Education Month, educate yourself on the steps you can take to avoid high blood pressure, heart disease, and heart failure in New Jersey. For heart failure treatment, the cardiologists at The Medical Group of New Jersey are here to help. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule an appointment.