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74 Million Americans Have High Blood Pressure

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Fox News, 3:54

High blood pressure is a serious disease that often goes untreated.  It has been called "the silent killer" due to the fact that many people who have it are not aware; and when left untreated it can cause stroke, kidney disease, loss of vision, or death.

First, to define high blood pressure, it means that you have had three separate blood pressure tests with readings higher than 140/90.  One test alone is not enough to confirm whether you have high blood pressure or not.  Old age, diabetes, being overweight, smoking, and drinking can all contribute to being at risk for high blood pressure.  Certain people also have a genetic predisposition to the disease.

In order to lower your blood pressure you need to eat healthy and stay active.  Some actions you can take to help are eating high potassium foods such as bananas, tomatoes, and potatoes, while sticking to a low sodium diet.  You should not have more than 2300mg of sodium per day.  Fish oil found in salmon and sardines can also help, as can eating dark chocolates.  Getting into a habit of regular exercise can help to increase weight loss which in turn can reduce your blood pressure.

If necessary, several medications are available to help reduce blood pressure.  Talk to your doctor about your options.

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