The 4 Basics of Hypertension

You may have heard the term hypertension thrown around but never fully understood its meaning. While it may seem complicated, it simply refers to high blood pressure. The two are interchangeable terms but hold the same weight of importance on a patient. By understanding more about the condition, you can aid in preventing further damage and making up for what has already been affected.    


Learning The Basics of Hypertension 

One of every three people in the United States suffers from hypertension. The importance of this lies in the fact that blood pressure increases a patient’s chance of heart disease or stroke. We are here to prevent this growth at Durham Nephrology and find a treatment plan that best fits our patients. This starts with making sure we are educating everyone on the basics of hypertension!  

There are various types of treatment. 

Hypertension can be treated in many ways, depending on the patient’s specific case—many of these present in the form of lifestyle changes. The first is regular physical exercise. People with hypertension are advised to participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. Stress reduction is the next helpful concept to incorporate into a patient’s life. Finally, medication is also often used to treat hypertension. Your doctor can help you determine the best options for your specific case. 

It often benefits from diet changes. 

Aside from the types of treatment available, hypertension is often met with changes to your diet. There are many things to consider altering when lowering blood pressure. It can be very beneficial to incorporate all of them, but it may be most realistic to start by just trying a few. The first idea to consider is limiting your salt intake. High sodium can majorly affect blood pressure, and salt is a significant player.

Along with limiting salt, patients should also consider limiting their alcohol. This can also increase blood pressure; even a limit can make a difference. Apart from limitations, patients should try to increase fruit and vegetables in their diet. 

You can learn more about an ideal diet by reading about the DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is designed to treat hypertension through diet while maintaining a manageable lifestyle. 

There are two numbers in a blood pressure reading. 

Some people are unaware of what the numbers in a blood pressure reading are telling you. The two numbers both hold different importance. The top number is the systolic blood pressure. This measures the force the heart exerts on the walls of arteries when it beats. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure. This measures the force the heart exerts against the walls of the arteries in between beats. 

Hypertension can present with no symptoms. 

Identifying the signs of high blood pressure is often difficult, making it harder to help you seek treatment before it becomes an even more significant issue. It can be happening over time and affecting your overall health without you knowing it is doing so. This has often gained the title of “silent killer” because of the extreme health concerns that it can lead to. That is why it is crucial to stay on top of blood pressure readings and know where your body is falling on the scale consistently. 

Hypertension does not have to be hard to understand. You can see the characteristics by knowing it as both hypertension and high blood pressure. The basics are a great place to start. You may even discover information that could protect you from health issues in the future. Are you looking to learn more about preventing hypertension? Check out our website or give us a call at (919) 477-3005 for more information. 


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