High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition that makes the heart work extra hard to circulate the blood throughout the body. According to the CDC, nearly one-third of American adults, and two-thirds of Americans over the age of 60, have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, more than half of them have blood pressure that isn’t well controlled.
If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important to follow the advice of your healthcare provider to manage blood pressure. Hypertension that is not well controlled over prolonged periods could lead to significant health problems such as cardiovascular conditions, kidney disease or stroke. Adhering to your medication treatment plan, and working with your healthcare provider to control your blood pressure is vitally important.
At this time, we are also confronted with the concerns related to COVID-19. Unfortunately, patients with a diagnosis of hypertension may be more susceptible to developing complications should they contract COVID-19. Perhaps there has never been a more important time to make sure high blood pressure, along with other underlying medical conditions, is well-controlled. During the COVID-19 pandemic, please stay current your medications and make sure you have an adequate amount. We also encourage patients to check with their provider to see if virtual visits or periodic check-ins might be an option for ongoing care.
We have long believed that chronic stress may contribute to the development of hypertension in individuals who are otherwise at risk. During this pandemic, many of us experience increased anxiety, whether due to job loss, worries about our loved ones, or simply the stress of navigating through these uncertain times. To help manage stress, and help to control blood pressure, we emphasize the importance of self-care. Some things to consider to help you manage stress include:
- Partake in regular exercise
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Limit your exposure to news or media
- Develop a healthy sleep routine
- Maintain a connection with your support systems by way of technology
- Reduce caffeine and limit smoking or alcohol consumption
While these are unprecedented times, I am encouraged by the outpouring of compassion and support for one another in our community. We at Primary Health Network hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.