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NCHPAD - Building Healthy Inclusive Communities

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Nutrition Spotlight: Managing High Blood Pressure


More than 65 million Americans - or one in three adults - have high blood pressure, or hypertension. High blood pressure is called "the silent killer" because there are no signs or symptoms of it. Most people do not know they have high blood pressure unless a doctor tells them. May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month, which provides a good reminder to have your blood pressure checked and learn about what you can do to prevent or manage hypertension.

Blood pressure is defined as the force of blood against artery walls. When this pressure is high, the heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. This high force of blood flow, if left untreated, can cause damage to your arteries, heart, kidneys, eyes, and other organs.

High blood pressure can be controlled by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, only drinking alcohol in moderation, not smoking, taking prescribed blood pressure medication, and eating a healthy diet. Most people have heard that if you have high blood pressure, you should limit your intake of salt. However, there are many dietary changes, in addition to decreasing salt intake, to help lower blood pressure:

For the full column, go to http://www.ncpad.org/553/2492/Managing~High~Blood~Pressure.


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