Most of us know that high blood pressure is a common condition that if untreated may eventually cause health conditions such as heart disease (Mayo Clinic), but how many of us know the following:
High Blood pressure is one of the factors which can increase the risk of Dementia, per study published in The Lancet, July 19, 2017.
[The Lancet is one of the world’s oldest and best known general medical journals.]
And, what are we doing about it? Whether you choose traditional or nontraditional treatment, do start with a visit to your doctor.
A close friend was diagnosed with borderline high blood pressure and his doctor gave him a choice between medication and lifestyle changes. He chose the latter. The first step was for him to minimize salt is his diet.
A challenge initially not to reach for the salt shaker, he learned to substitute various low and no-salt condiments that would satisfy his palate, e.g. lemon, lime, vinegar, various herbs, ginger, garlic, etc. Gradually my friend developed an appreciation of a variety of spices; his favorite is now the Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper.
As my friend’s taste buds adjusted to the lack of salt added at the table, his sensitivity to salt present in prepared foods at restaurants and in canned goods grew. That led to a new task which has now become a habit, and that is to read the sodium content listed on labels of packaged foods purchased at the supermarket, and when dining out, he routinely requests that no salt is added to his order.
Maintaining his blood pressure within the normal range has been a slow and deliberative process for my friend. After a year or so he and his doctor are satisfied with his progress, and for now the need for medication has been averted. He continues to meet with his doctor regularly to monitor his blood pressure as well as other health risks.
Making lifestyle changes requires consistent effort which obviously can be more demanding than popping a pill and perhaps suffering from side effects. In my friend’s case, there were benefits to lifestyle changes and he is convinced he made the right choice. Check with your doctor to determine if there are any lifestyle changes that would benefit your overall health.
Check with your health professional to determine what your blood pressure numbers are, what is normal for you, how often you should be checked, your diagnosis and appropriate treatment.