Medical Monday: Hypertension

High blood pressure or hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer and can lead to heart failure.
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 8:20 AM EDT
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High blood pressure or hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer and can lead to heart failure. Vanessa Symonick spoke to a physician’s assistant in cardiology to discuss the impacts high blood pressure can have on your body and how you can prevent it from happening in this week’s Medical Monday.

Jacie Grimsrud: “Blood pressure is known as the silent killer. It truly is because most people don’t have symptoms for many years until really something bad happens”.

Jacie Grimsrud is a physician’s assistant in the cardiology at AR Gould. She says Blood pressure, which is the force against the vessels in your body, is measured using two numbers, diastolic and systolic pressure. These numbers are measured using an electronic device or a blood pressure cuff.

Grimsrud: “The American college of cardiology and American Heart Association recommend a normal blood pressure to be less than 120 over 80, so that depends a bit on you know age and other health conditions”.

While there typically aren’t any symptoms that present with high blood pressure, she says there are ways to prevent it from occurring starting with your diet. Incorporating more lean meats in your diet like chicken and turkey and limiting red meat. Limiting foods high in starch like pasta and potatoes is also recommended. She adds incorporating vegetables in your diet can also limit your chances of having high blood pressure.

Grimsrud: “We all know that vegetables are important for the diet. It’s hard to get the four to five servings a day. Another issue that I see often they buy canned vegetables which is actually very very high in salt or sodium which is something we stress the importance of avoiding in people that have high blood pressure. I always recommend to try frozen vegetables if possible and of course fresh if available”.

In addition, exercising regularly, avoiding substances like tobacco and alcohol and limiting your caffeine intake can help. Treatments for high blood pressure are individualized, but one of the main ways is through medication.”

Grimsrud: “I would recommend following with either your primary care provider or cardiology provider as far as taking that medication, when to take it, when we need to adjust the dosage”.

If you think you may be at risk for high blood pressure, it’s important to see your primary care provider. Vanessa Symonick Newssource 8.