If you have been diagnosed with a disease or health condition, it is important to learn as much as you can about it. You will need to have regular medical exams at which time you should work with your doctor to create a treatment plan. Once a plan is created, it is important to follow it. Serious complications can result if you do not manage your disease.
For example, not managing high blood pressure and Diabetes can cause injury or even lead to death.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has no symptoms, so you may not be aware that it is causing damage. Some of the effects include higher risk of stroke, kidney damage, heart damage, vision loss and memory loss.
Increased risk for stroke - According to the American Heart Association, the most important thing you can do to lessen your chance of a stroke is to manage high blood pressure. Two thirds of those who have a first stroke have blood pressures higher than 160/95. For every 5 to 6 mm Hg blood pressure is reduced, the risk for stroke decreases by 30% to 40%.
Kidney damage - High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney damage. Lowering blood pressure can reduce the decline in kidney function by 30% to 40%.
Vision loss - Untreated high blood pressure can lead to permanent vision problems. The longer it goes untreated the higher the likelihood of permanent damage.
Memory loss - The brain's ability to function properly is reduced with increasing levels of blood pressure.
Lowering Your High Blood Pressure
- Lowering blood pressure reduces your risk of heart attack by about 25% and your risk of heart failure by 50%.
- 50% of people who have a first heart attack have blood pressures higher than 160/95.
- For every 5-6 mm Hg blood pressure is reduced, the risk for heart disease decreases by 20-25%.
Ways to Lower Blood Pressure:
- Enjoy regular physical activity
- Make better food choices
- Reduce the intake of sodium
- Manage stress
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid tobacco
- Take your medication as prescribed
- Limit your alcohol consumption