When was the last time you spoke to your doctor about your blood pressure? The fact is, many of us are suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) and are not even aware, which explains why hypertension is often called a “silent killer.” It has claimed the lives of countless people worldwide, and is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease.
Many people are still mostly uninformed about the factors which can increase their chances of developing hypertension, as well as the simple and effective treatment options that are available to them. Here, we’ll outline some of those risk factors as well as some of the treatment options that are available right here at Bumrungrad.
What Causes Hypertension?
Although it has been found that some older adults can gradually develop primary hypertension without a specific cause, secondary hypertension can be attributed to many different causes which include:
- Tumors in the adrenal glands
- Congenital defects in blood vessels
- Difficulty sleeping, including obstructive sleep apnea
There are several factors that can increase your chances of developing these conditions, including:
- A family history of high blood pressure
- Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- High levels of stress, whether at home or in the workplace
- Chronic conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease
- Not getting enough potassium and vitamin D
- A diet containing too much salt (sodium)
How to Prevent Hypertension
Unsurprisingly, the first step to preventing a chronic and dangerous condition like hypertension is recognizing the behaviors and factors that put you at risk, and making healthy decisions daily to combat these factors. Start by implementing some of the below healthy habits today, and you’ll see that the payoff to your health will be immeasurable.
- Quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake
- Become more conscious about your salt intake – most dishes come with a very unhealthy amount of sodium, which is ever-present in most sauces and seasonings
- Start an exercise routine and stick to it
- Take the necessary multivitamins to compliment your healthy diet
- Actively and consistently work to lower your stress levels at home or in the workplace
- Lose weight, and work to keep it off
Generally speaking, the success of any treatment plan against hypertension will rely very heavily on your own overall health, which is more positively impacted by healthy lifestyle changes such as the ones we highlighted above. Additionally, your doctor may recommend certain medications to help lower your blood pressure.
Expert Management of Hypertension
It can be difficult to stick to lifestyle changes that are more focused on health rather than indulgence, especially if you don’t feel or see the symptoms of your hypertension. However, it’s important to note that combating hypertension is much more likely to yield positive results before it becomes a major problem with clear and noticeable symptoms.
The Hypertension Clinic at Bumrungrad International Hospital offers a complete hypertension management program that start with the root cause of your high blood pressure, and works to correct the problem from the cause. Through accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and lifestyle support including nutrition planning, keeping your hypertension under control is our top priority.
By Dr Yaowarat Jantree, Internal Medicine Specialist, Medical Clinics, Bumrungrad International Hospital