By Dee Griffin
What if there was a ticking time bomb inside of you and you had NO idea it was there?
For some people, this may be true.
High blood pressure (a.k.a. hypertension) can be putting you at risk for things such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. Hypertension can be present any age but is more commonly seen in adults. Your genetics do play a role, but you may increase your risk with lifestyle choices such as eating a poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking.
Hypertension is a condition where the blood vessels in the body are functioning at a higher pressure than normal. This increased pressure over time can weaken the blood vessels and lead to other problems.
While there is a genetic component to hypertension, lifestyle choices play a big role in the ability to control and possibly reverse hypertension. Some of those lifestyle choices include eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, limiting alcohol intake, avoiding smoking and decreasing stress.
It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of hypertension such as: throbbing headache, chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and irritability. Someone experiencing these types of symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
Hypertension can also have no symptoms at all. It is called the silent killer for a reason.
Working with your primary care provider to reduce hypertension is a good place to start. Diagnosis and treatment may be frustrating at first because your primary care provider will need to find a medication that works best for you. These medications work in different ways so it may take more than one try to find the medication that will work best for you.
With the right diet, lifestyle changes and medications, high blood pressure is a condition that is entirely manageable so you can avoid some of the health risks associated with uncontrolled hypertension.
Dee Anne Griffin owns Dynamic Health Solutions, LLC and is a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has worked in the medical field for more than 20 years. She listens and recommends different options to create a unique plan that fits each individual. When not practicing medicine Griffin spends time on her family farm tending to her animals and is very active in her church. Contact her at 803-454-1661. Her offices are located at 169 A Medical Circle, West Columbia.