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I Have High Blood Pressure. Now What?

I Have High Blood Pressure. Now What?

High blood pressure isn’t a diagnosis that you simply ignore. It requires medical and lifestyle management for the rest of your life. Unmanaged high blood pressure, or hypertension, compromises your heart, kidney, eye, and brain health.

At South Plains Rural Health Services, we offer the medical management you need to help keep your blood pressure under control. Plus, we support patients in the areas of Levelland, Lamesa, and Big Spring, Texas, with the lifestyle changes that are also important to blood pressure management.

If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, here’s how your treatment progresses.

Medical management for high blood pressure

Your South Plains Rural Health Services provider may recommend medications, depending on how high your blood pressure is and your risk of complications. Take them exactly as directed and, if you should suffer any side effects or have trouble affording your medication, please reach out so we can help you find a solution. 

You’ll also need to plan on regular doctor visits, especially in the beginning as we’re trying to get your blood pressure to a safe level. At these regular visits, we measure your blood pressure, check in with lifestyle changes, and discuss any changes required in your treatment plan.

Lifestyle changes that can help with high blood pressure

What you do at home does a lot to control blood pressure. Here are the steps we highly recommend and can help support:

Eat healthy foods

Foods such as red meat, especially processed versions like ham or bacon, high-sodium products, and food and drinks that contain added sugars contribute to high blood pressure. 

Limit these foods and instead, eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins such as white-meat chicken and fish, and heart-healthy fats found in nuts and avocados. 

Reduce your salt intake

Processed and fast food contain a lot of added sodium. Purchase low-sodium products and cook at home when you can; even if you add salt with your shaker, it’s usually far less than found in restaurant and convenience foods. Aim for fewer than 2,300 milligrams per day.

Include more physical activity

Physical activity offers so many benefits when it comes to controlling your blood pressure. It helps you manage stress, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce your risk of other health conditions. Regular moderate-intensity exercise can lower your blood pressure by 5-8 mm HG

Aim for a minimum of about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day. 

Achieve a healthy weight

Losing weight if you’re overweight or obese helps you control your high blood pressure. We can help with accountability, dietary changes, and recommendations for exercise when it comes to losing weight. 

Manage substance use

Limit your use of alcohol, as it can raise your blood pressure. For healthy adults, stick to just one drink a day if you’re a woman and two drinks a day if you’re a man. There are many ways to define one drink: 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. 

Smoking injures your blood vessel walls and increases the speed at which plaque builds up in your arteries. Poor blood vessel health leads to higher blood pressure. 

Control stress levels

We can help you learn how to better manage your stress levels with things like breathing exercises, learning to say no, and meditation.

Get the help you need in managing your high blood pressure diagnosis from the team at South Plains Rural Health Services. Call our nearest location today, or use the online tool to set up an appointment.

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