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What Is High Blood Pressure?

Did you know? More than 103 million Americans have high blood pressure. And even more Americans have high blood pressure but have not been diagnosed.

That makes the condition incredibly common, but it's not really well-understood by most people. Our team at AFC Urgent Care Centennial wants to take a few minutes to break down the condition, including its risk factors and how to prevent it.

What Is Blood Pressure?

Before we dive into explaining more about high blood pressure, let's first put a definition with blood pressure. Blood pressure is literally the pressure with which your blood hits the artery walls as it moves through the body.

When you have high blood pressure, your blood is hitting the walls quite forcefully. Over time, this can damage the artery walls and increase your risk of many different health conditions, including heart disease.

Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure

  • Advanced age
  • African heritage
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Tobacco use
  • Excess sodium or inadequate potassium in diet

How Can I Prevent High Blood Pressure?

Living a healthy lifestyle is a great place to begin. Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, get plenty of quality sleep, don't smoke and limit your alcohol consumption. You'll also want to take special care to appropriately manage any chronic medical conditions you have.

Because stress is also connected with elevated blood pressure, find healthy ways to manage your stress, such as meditation or enjoyable hobbies. These are better coping options than turning to unhealthy foods or smoking.

Basics of a Healthy Diet

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lean protein
  • Healthy fats, like those found in fatty fish
  • Low-fat dairy

Feeling under the weather? Schedule an appointment with AFC Urgent Care Centennial for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

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