With the help of Martin’s grocery store, Urban Views Weekly is introducing a health and nutrition blog to provide information and tips on staying healthy.
In keeping with Urban Views’ tradition, this blog will explore issues that are of particular importance to the African-American community, with information about local organizations that can help create or continue a healthy lifestyle.
We’ll bring you information, prevention tips and even advice from professionals to help you get on your way to a healthier life!
Coming up this week: information and tips on how to avoid some of the most-pressing medical concerns for African-Americans.
Check out UrbanViewsweekly.com Monday through Saturday for new blog posts!
Please note: Urban Views Weekly should not replace your regular health professionals. Please consult a doctor if you have any health concerns.
Hypertension: The Silent Killer
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the leading causes of death in the country among adults — one in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure and because there are usually no signs, many are unaware of their condition. Hypertension occurs when blood pumps too quickly against the walls of arteries. When this happens, the walls of arteries can harden, making it harder for blood and oxygen to reach the heart. That can lead to heart problems. High blood pressure can also burst or block arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain, ultimately causing a stroke.
Most peoples’ blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day and can change depending on external factors, like stress. Occasionally, quick changes in blood pressure can cause lightheadedness or headaches, but there is no true indicator of hypertension so it is important to have it checked by a medical professional if you believe you might have it.
So how do you know if you’re at risk? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control say there are four types of risk factors for hypertension: preexisting conditions, heredity, behavior and sodium intake. People with diabetes are more likely to develop high blood pressure than those without it. As you age, blood pressure also tends to rise and African Americans experience hypertension more often than other races. Hypertension can also be passed on through families, so if a family member has high blood pressure, you may be more likely to have it too.
The CDC says that if you are overweight or drink or smoke too much, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of developing hypertension. It’s also recommended that you take in less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day to offset any development of increased blood pressure.
If you already have high blood pressure, it’s important to follow the same guidelines as someone looking to prevent it.
We’ve included a table of what normal blood pressure looks like. As always, please consult your doctor if you’re concerned about your blood pressure.