May is High Blood Pressure Education Month 一 a time to raise awareness about the importance of managing high blood pressure. High blood pressure, a common and often silent health problem, affects 116 million American people and can lead to serious complications, including stroke.
In this blog, I delve deeper into the link between unmanaged hypertension and stroke and provide important information and tips for managing blood pressure and reducing your risk of stroke.
Hypertension is a medical condition in which the force of your blood in your arteries is consistently high. Blood pressure is measured using two numbers: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. A normal blood pressure reading is around 120/80mmHg, and anything that’s consistently higher can indicate hypertension.
Even though you can’t feel if you have high blood pressure, the increased force against your artery walls can damage them. When artery walls are damaged, it’s easy for plaque deposits to accumulate, and hardened plaque can narrow or block your arteries and lead to blood clots.
Strokes happen when the blood supply to your brain is blocked. This can happen because of a blood clot or a ruptured blood vessel.
If your brain can’t receive adequate oxygen and nutrients, brain cells die, leading to long-term disability, cognitive impairment, or even death. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in America.
Hypertension is the leading risk factor for strokes, and undetected hypertension is even worse because you don’t know you have damaged arteries. Hypertension is treatable, but you can’t treat a condition if you don’t know you have it.
When your blood pressure is high, it strains your arterial walls, making them more susceptible to blockages and ruptures. If a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or ruptures, it can cause a stroke.
Hypertension also increases your risk of other risk factors for stroke, such as atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat) and diabetes.
Managing your hypertension can also help reduce your risk of strokes, diabetes, and heart disease. Studies show that lowering your blood pressure by even just 10mmHg reduces your risk of stroke by 27%.
Here at Beverly Hills Headache Institute, my team and I diagnose and treat hypertension through a blend of Western practices with traditional Eastern healing practices.
If you have hypertension, I may recommend the following approaches and treatments.
Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol intake, and quitting smoking can all help lower your blood pressure and reduce your stroke risk. On their own, diet and exercise are two of the most influential factors when it comes to blood pressure. Exercise can lower your blood pressure by up to 8mmHG.
We offer nutrition services and can provide guidance on what types of food best support your cardiovascular health.
Many medications are available to treat hypertension, including diuretics and calcium channel blockers. However, as a holistic practice, we also offer homeopathy.
Regular blood pressure monitoring is important to ensure that your blood pressure is well controlled. If your blood pressure isn’t responding to current treatments, we can adjust your treatment plan.
If you have other health conditions that increase your risk of stroke, such as atrial fibrillation, heart valve disease, high cholesterol, or diabetes, it’s important to manage these conditions.
Stress wreaks havoc on your body and can contribute to high blood pressure. To compound matters, stress can also increase your stroke risk. The good news is that there are many ways to manage high stress:
I also offer several different stress management therapies 一 halotherapy, hydrotherapy, counseling, and biofeedback 一 in my Beverly Hills, California, office.
This month, take steps to prioritize your cardiovascular health. Whether you add more heart-friendly foods to your diet or take an extra walk, know that even the smallest changes can lead to big rewards.
Questions? Schedule a visit by calling my office at 310-382-1056. You can also use my online booking form and get started today.