This past week I changed my diet by making absolute sure I get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables (2 of fruit and 3 of veggies). Easier said than done. I tended to waiver between having more fruits one day and more veggies on another. I changed the foods I ate but still drank the same amount of water. My body absorbed the water differently.. or not at all. Let’s just say I went through a lot of toilet paper.
HYPERTENSION LESSON #1
At this weeks meeting we had a doctor come in and give us the low down on what hypertension is.
For those of you who don’t know, Hypertension is the medical term for having high blood pressure. Your blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. It tends to rise and fall throughout the day but when there is constant elevation over a long period of time it’s called high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is bad. It causes the heart to work too hard and can lead to hardening of the arteries (a term call arteriosclerosis). This in turn can cause heart disease, stroke and other stuff.
What exactly is that fraction?
Systolic = the pressure exerted on the heart when it beats
Diastolic = the pressure on the heart in between the beat, or when relaxed.
What is a normal blood pressure reading?
Below 120/80. Yes, I said it..below.
What are some of the causes of hypertension?
Not in order of importance..
- Sedentary behavior (not moving)
- Too much salt intake (how much salt is too much? Over 2400 mg per day.)
- Too much alcohol
Can you feel when your blood pressure goes up?
I am sure you heard someone say..”Man I’m stressed..my blood pressure is up” or “You making my blood pressure go up!” Well they are lying!! Okay it might be true, but they don’t know it. You can’t feel when your blood pressure goes up. This is why they call hypertension the silent killer. Many people feel that since they ‘feel okay’ that they can put off doing something about their high blood pressure. What they don’t know is prolonged stress on the heart exerts cumulative damage that can cause serious complications.
There are some symptoms of elevated blood pressure, but those manifest when something bad is going to happen right away. Dizziness, blurred vision, chest pain or severe headaches. Signs of a stroke or heart problem. You don’t want to wait until then. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure take steps to control it and stay on top of it. Don’t wait until it’s too late!!
What are ways to treat Hypertension?
If you have been diagnosed with hypertension and your doctor gives you instructions or prescribes medication..LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR. Take the medication. Follow the diet recommendation. Do whatever they tell you to do. You are paying the person..listen!!
Other methods that don’t involve medication:
- Lose weight: If you lose 10-20 lbs you can lower your number by 5-20 points.
- Dietary changes: If you reduce your salt intake to 2.4 grams you can lower your systolic pressure by 2 pts
- Physical Activity: You can potentially drop your number by 4-9 points by increasing your movement..
After the lesson we did our physical activity..which almost caused me to dislocate my shoulder..but bygones.
Homework for this week: READ “Spiritual Guide to Good Health” by Stephanie Davenport. Ms. Davenport is our Health Ministry Program Coordinator. If you are interested in a copy, let me know and I will comment on how to get one for you. I am sure she has extra. ;)
Next week- NUTRITION LESSON.
Your turn!! COMMENTS? QUESTIONS? New information that I didn’t add? Chime in and let me know. I am always down to learn something new!!