Did you know that it has been reported that up to half of Canadian baby boomers have high blood pressure? High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, contributes to heart disease, kidney failure and cerebrovascular disease.
There are two types of high blood pressure, primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension tends to develop gradually over many years and there is usually no identifiable cause. Secondary hypertension tends to be higher, can appear suddenly and is caused by underlying conditions (kidney or thyroid problems) or lifestyle factors such as being overweight, smoking, poor eating habits and lack of exercise.
Do you know what is considered to be a healthy blood pressure? Doctors look for less than 150/90 in people older than age 60. If you do get diagnosed with high blood pressure, don’t get discouraged. There are plenty of ways to treat hypertension and things you can do keep it under control. 
Treatment for hypertension has been associated with reductions in stroke (reduced an average of 35%-40%), heart attack (20%-25%), and heart failure (more than 50%), so make sure you follow your doctor’s advice on how to treat your condition. 
- Medication: There are many different types of medication that can be prescribed for high blood pressure. Consult a medical professional to find out more about options and which one may be right for you.
- Lose weight: Loosing just 10 lbs can make a big difference in blood pressure levels. The circumference of your waist is also important. You are at greater risk of having high blood pressure if your waist measurement is greater than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women. 
- Exercise: Not only can regular exercise reduce your blood pressure, it is also a great way to prevent getting high blood pressure in the first place. Aim for 30 minutes, at least four times a week.
- Eating Right: Choose whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables. Increase the potassium in your diet (it is known for reducing blood pressure) and reduce the sodium you consume.
- Add Herbs & Spices: Ginger, cinnamon and basil have been shown to help reduce blood pressure. Also, throw some flaxseed into your morning cereal or baked goods – another great power food that can help manage hypertension.
If you are managing blood pressure through diet, exercise and medication, be aware that there are health care technology options that can provide support like iCare’s Health Espresso app. Health Espresso can send reminders to take medications, attend medical appointments, renew prescriptions, and track real time blood pressure readings.
Having a strong support network to help you manage your health is important. If you are looking for support for yourself or a loved one and could use help in finding home care assistance or long term care, contact iCare Home Health. We can guide and provide you with resources and information in the Oakville, Milton, Mississauga or Burlington area.