Over 50? Keeping Up With Your Healthcare Needs

Over 50? Keeping Up With Your Healthcare Needs

Hypertension Could Be Slowly Killing You

Nellie Ryan

It's estimated that almost a third of U.S. adults have hypertension, or high blood pressure, and many aren't aware of it. This disease can be damaging your body every day, with few symptoms to tell you that is something wrong. Here is why hypertension is such a danger to your health and how to spot the signs of it.

How to Spot Hypertension

The only definitive way to know that you have hypertension is to visit your doctor for a physical. Blood tests can show the subtle ways the disease is affecting your health. You may have physical signs of this disease that can be interpreted as other health problems. Or you may just ignore them as nothing significant. Some of these signs include:

  • frequent headaches
  • excess fatigue
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • pressure in your chest

You may have one or more of these signs without having the high blood pressure often seen with hypertension.

What Causes Hypertension

Hypertension can be caused by other diseases such as kidney and thyroid disease. Essential hypertension is the term given to the form of the disease that has no known cause. Your general physician does know that there are several lifestyle factors that contribute to developing this disease such as:

  • being overweight
  • a long history of smoking
  • getting little physical exercise
  • eating high sodium foods
  • excess alcohol consumption

These factors do not ensure that you'll get hypertension, but they are often present in people who develop this disease.

The Dangers of Untreated Hypertension

This disease can damage your body in ways that can be fatal if allowed to continue. This is why diagnosing and treating hypertension early is important. Some of the health hazards of untreated hypertension include:

  • damage to the heart muscle and coronary arteries
  • increased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • kidney damage and potential kidney failure

You can have mild hypertension for many years with no obvious symptoms. Undetected, it affects the heart, kidneys and circulatory system, causing serious damage.

Treating Hypertension

The first defense against hypertension is a change in the lifestyle habits that contribute to this disease. A few ways to prevent this disease from happening include:

  • losing weight
  • stopping smoking
  • getting regular exercise
  • going on a low-sodium diet
  • limiting alcohol

Various medications are available to reduce your blood pressure and the damaging affects it has on your organs. However, these do not cure you of hypertension, and they may be something you'll need to take for the rest of your life. Making lifestyle changes will reduce the amount of medication you'll need to take.

Talk with a professional doctor, like those at Mount Laurel Primary Care Physicians, about your risk of hypertension and the tests that they recommend to diagnose this disease. Don't let this silent illness slowly take your good health away. 


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About Me
Over 50? Keeping Up With Your Healthcare Needs

As an adult in my 50s, I find that my body isn't as strong as it used to be. But I don't let that stop me from enjoying life! In fact, I make every effort to get the treatments I need from my doctor to improve my health. I know that I'm not a senior yet, but I do all I can to prevent the health problems that affect that age group. Because of this, I put together a health blog for people over age 50. My blog isn't a review of what you can easily find on the Internet. It's a plethora of unique information designed to help you find the services you need fast. What my blog doesn't do is tell you what to do for your health. Instead, it offers guidance and options. Please, enjoy the blog and happy reading.

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