High blood pressure
High blood pressure is also known as the Silent Killer because it doesnt have any noticeable warning signals. Almost one of every three American adults has high blood pressure (1). Because high blood pressure doesnt have any warning signs, almost one-third of these adults dont even know they have it (1). Unaddressed high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, and heart attack. A high blood pressure reading is 140/90 or above (2).
There are very subtle warning symptoms of chronic kidney disease in the early stages. However, as kidney disease progresses, there are three symptoms which usually cause attention (3). They are: Changes in urination that include getting up through the night, foam or bubbles, blood, or pressure when urinating Fatigue, also known as anemia, sets in when the kidneys begin to fail and theres less oxygen for the red blood cells to carry to the brain and muscles Swelling because failing kidneys cannot remove the extra fluid sometimes found in the ankles, face, feet, hands, and legs.
Heart disease is a culmination of several abnormal conditions that affect the heart and the blood vessels in the heart. Coronary artery disease, also known as CAD, is the most common of all heart diseases. When left untreated, it can lead to angina, discomfort that occurs when the heart doesnt receive enough blood; when the heart doesnt receive blood because of a blocked artery for 20 minutes or more; heart failure occurs when the heart is no longer able to pump blood throughout the body as well as it should or once did; and heart arrhythmias occur when changes in the heart beat begin (4).
High blood pressure, kidney problems, and heart disease
When high blood pressure, kidney problems, and heart disease are culminated, health risks increase. Thats why its important to:
- Control your blood pressure: You can only find out your blood pressure when you have it taken. Do this regularly and about the same time of the day.
- Dont smoke: Blood pressure levels are actually raised by nicotine. It also constricts the blood vessels and makes the heart beat faster.
- Eat a healthy diet thats low in cholesterol, fat, and sodium: Become creative and have fun as you learn new recipes.
- Exercise: Regular exercise is best. Exercise will strengthen the heart and will reduce the chance of high blood pressure, kidney problems, and heart disease. Start easy and build up to a schedule you can keep. Strive for 30 minutes a day, four to six times weekly (5).
- Realize your health is your responsibility: Only you can control it. Make wise decisions and choices. Knowledge is power. Learn everything you can about your high blood pressure, kidney problems, and heart disease.
- Talk to your doctor: Should you take aspirin? Should you take supplements that are formulated to address your health needs in a natural, safe, and effective manner?
Sources: (1) http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=2114