Healthy Lifestyle Still Key in Managing Blood Pressure

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January 30, 2014 by Ann Eubanks, MSN, RN-BC, CNL — SMC Cardiovascular Service Line Coordinator

New blood pressure management guidelines were recently released by a panel of physician experts, creating a lot of controversy in the medical world. Doctors are quibbling about which blood pressure measurements warrant treatment, and which medications to use to help manage high blood pressure.
While treatment guidelines are continually reviewed and updated with new changes, something that does not change is the recommendation of a healthy lifestyle as the very first thing one can do to control blood pressure. 
By eating a healthy diet, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and managing stress you can limit your chances of developing high blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can lower blood pressure and even reduce medication needs.
High blood pressure is also known as “the silent killer” because in most cases there are no symptoms. Before we had the medications to manage it, many times the first symptom of high blood pressure was a stroke or a heart attack. We are lucky to live in a time when we have many ways to treat blood pressure and minimize the risk for these sometimes devastating or even deadly conditions. 
Of course, you need to be aware of what your own blood pressure is. In today’s world it’s not too hard to find out. There are blood pressure machines at most drug stores, for example. Generally, a healthy blood pressure should be under 140-150/80-90 depending on your age and other health conditions. If you have higher blood pressure, your physician can provide the proper treatment to keep it under control.
So let’s all start this new year right! Make a point of exercising regularly, put down those cigarettes, and eat your veggies! Those simple (and cheap) things can go a long way in preventing high blood pressure or managing it well if you’ve already been diagnosed.
If you’d like to discuss your blood pressure with a physician, call our Physician Referral Service at 251.460.5207 for a listing of doctors in your area. Or, visit us online to search our physician directory at

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