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How Hypertension effects the body

High blood pressure (hypertension) can quietly damage the body for years even before symptoms develop. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to disability, poor quality of life, or even a deadly heart attack or stroke, the two leading causes of death for people in the US. Based on a study in 2018 we know that:

  • Nearly 1 out of 2 adults in the United States has hypertension (116 million).

  • Most adults with hypertension in the United States do not have their hypertension under control (92.1 million).

Many people do not know how dangerous Hypertension can be if left uncontrolled. High Blood Pressure can cause:

Damage to arteries

  • aneurysms

  • heart failure

Damage to the heart

  • Coronary Artery Disease

  • Enlarged Left Heart

  • Heart failure

Damage to the brain

The brain depends on a nourishing blood supply to work properly. High Blood Pressure can lead to:

  • Stroke

  • TIA

  • Dementia

Damage to Kidneys

  • Kidney scarring

  • Kidney failure

Damage to the Eyes

  • Damage to the blood vessels in the retina (retinopathy)

  • Fluid buildup under the retina (choroidopathy).

  • Nerve damage

  • In extreme cases, it can cause blindness

 

Experts recommend a medication treatment along with lifestyle changes to help keep it in check. Controlling blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle might prevent, delay or reduce the need for medication. Here are some ways your doctor may recommend to help control your blood pressure.

-Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline (if overweight)

Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises blood pressure.


Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. If you're overweight or have obesity, losing even a small amount of weight can help reduce blood pressure. In general, blood pressure might go down by about 1 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg) with each kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of weight lost. Also, the size of the waistline is important. Carrying too much weight around the waist can increase the risk of high blood pressure. In general:

  • Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters).

  • Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters).

These numbers vary among ethnic groups. Ask your health care provider about a healthy waist measurement for you.


-Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity can lower high blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg. It's important to keep exercising to keep blood pressure from rising again. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.


Exercise can also help keep elevated blood pressure from turning into high blood pressure (hypertension). For those who have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring blood pressure down to safer levels.


-Eat a healthy diet

Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and low in saturated fat and cholesterol can lower high blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg. Examples of eating plans that can help control blood pressure are the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet.

Tip: Potassium in the diet can lessen the effects of salt (sodium) on blood pressure.


-Reduce salt (sodium) in your diet

Even a small reduction of sodium in the diet can improve heart health and reduce high blood pressure by about 5 to 6 mm Hg.


-Monitor Blood Pressure at home

If you have elevated blood pressure or Hypertension, it may be worth purchasing an at-home Blood Pressure monitor. Keeping tabs of your Blood pressure along with these lifestyle changes can help you get and stay in control of your blood pressure.


What else can you do?

If you have Hypertension and are seeking additional help, would like to try a new medication, or just want to help future generations - find out about the clinical study taking place at GMRI.

Participants in the study get access to new medication, are seen by a Specialist (MD), are compensated for their time and travel, and are helping pave the way for people down the line to get better treatment.

To Qualify:

  • 18-75 years old

  • Diagnosis of Hypertension (treated or untreated)

  • Be willing to wear a 24-hour Blood Pressure Monitor during the study

Find out more by calling (802) 855-8407, or clicking here

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