Prevention is the Only Strategy
Aside from causing headaches (throbbing in the back of the head) in a few people with very high pressure, it is without overt symptoms. But, it is silently causing damage that will become heart disease, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (stroke and dementia), damage to the eyes, and heart failure.
It is the most common chronic disease accelerator in people over sixty-five years. Everyone knows high blood pressure can be harmful but actions to manage it properly are not generally appreciated. Overall, one of three adults has hypertension; this amazing rate climbs to two of three in those over 65 years. It continues to rise to 90% of those over 75 years. Twenty percent of hypertensives do not know they have a problem and about forty percent who are hypertensive are not being treated. It is alarming that even though highly effective treatment is available only one-third of hypertension is adequately controlled.
Further, an article in this month’s Money Magazine discusses properly taking blood pressure medicine in an article entitled, “One Surprising Habit That Could Help You Retire $100,000 Richer.” The article focuses on the huge medical expenses associated with poorly controlled hypertension.
Hypertension is widely known to increase vascular disease, especially the dreaded strokes. The prestigious NIH Institute of Heart, Lung, and Vascular Disease lists 10 contributing factors to Vascular Disease and rates Hypertension number one. Hypertension is a major contributor to dementia, especially the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease. Since there are no cures for Alzheimer’s disease, prevention is the only strategy.
Overfilling the system is a known cause of high blood pressure. Salt keeps water in the body and in excess overfills the system. If you drink a quart of pure water, your kidneys will excrete the excess within an hour. Lace the water with 1% salt and it will take a day for the kidneys to excrete the excess. Keep salt to a minimum!
Those having hypertension and those over 65 should periodically (at least weekly) take their pressures at home. There are accurate automatic blood pressure monitors available for less than $100 and are good investments. Omron 10 series is a machine that is highly regarded. Your physician can help you check your monitor’s accurateness.
At a regular time each week, apart from stressful activities, in the middle of the day (BP tends downward in the evening), sit for five minutes and then take your blood pressure, several times. Do not measure pressure just after exertion or drinking caffeinated beverages. You can easily defeat the silent killer.
Best of Health,