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About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition that does not cause any noticeable symptoms for years. Having your blood pressure checked is the only way to know if it is high.
Yet, untreated high blood pressure can result in serious illnesses, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.
Diet and lifestyle changes may be enough to control mildly elevated blood pressure. Your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medication and lifestyle changes if your blood pressure is moderately to severely high.
The American Heart Association says the following lifestyle choices can help reduce your blood pressure.
Inhaling cigarette smoke stimulates your heart, making it beat faster. It also narrows your blood vessels, causing your blood pressure to rise temporarily. Smoking is also a major risk factor for heart disease, leading to hardening of the arteries and heart attacks.
Maintain a healthy weight
Studies have found people who lose weight also lower their blood pressure. To lose weight safely, eat fewer foods high in fat and calories and increase your physical activity.
Regular aerobic exercise tones your heart, blood vessels and muscles and keeps your blood pressure low. Consult your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen if you have high blood pressure.
Learn to cope with stress
Stress may temporarily raise blood pressure, but it is not a cause of chronic high blood pressure. Meditate, listen to stress-management tapes or do relaxation exercises daily.
If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Heavy, regular consumption of alcohol can increase blood pressure dramatically. Experts recommend no more than two drinks a day for a man and one drink a day for a woman.
Healthy eating and limit your salt intake
The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension, is an effective eating plan that has been shown to lower blood pressure. It doesn't require special foods; instead, it recommends a certain number of servings from a variety of food groups--vegetables, fruits, fat-free or low-fat milk, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It also calls for limiting sugar, fats, and red meat, and for reducing salt (sodium) intake. Following the DASH diet and keeping salt intake to 1,500 mg per day has shown the biggest benefit for blood pressure reduction in people with high blood pressure. Ask your health car provider how much sodium you should have each day.
Take your medicine
Follow these guidelines if your doctor prescribes blood pressure medication:
Take all your medication as prescribed.
Take your pills at the same time each day.
Never skip your pills because you have side effects or don't believe your blood pressure is high. Call your doctor to discuss your concerns.
Refill your prescription before it runs out.
Don't stop taking your medication because your blood pressure tests normal. It's normal because you're taking the medication.
Knowledge is Power.
The Diabetes Education Program at Broward Health Medical Center can teach you how to live a healthier and more productive life!
Currently, nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Seventy-nine million Americans have prediabetes – elevated blood sugar that increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Researchers predict that by the year 2050, the number of Americans with diabetes will increase to one in three. Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
In order to determine whether or not you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, your physician conducts a Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) Test or an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Either test can be used to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends the FPG because it is easier, faster and less expensive to perform.
With the FPG test, a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl signals pre-diabetes. A person with a fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher has diabetes.
In the OGTT, a person's blood glucose level is measured after a fast and two hours after drinking a glucose-rich beverage. If the two-hour blood glucose level is between 140 and 199 mg/dl, the person tested has pre-diabetes. If the two-hour blood glucose level is at 200 mg/dl or higher, the person tested has diabetes.
ABCs of Diabetes
Our personalized diabetes program targets the ABCs of diabetes
- A: is for A(1)C- a blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels during the last three months. Goal: less than 7%.
- B: is for blood pressure. Goal: 140/80
- C: is for cholesterol - elevated blood sugar levels increase cholesterol and makes it easier for cholesterol to stick to blood vessels and clog arteries. Goal: For most people, here are the total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides numbers to aim for:
- Total cholesterol: Less than 200mg/dl
- LDL cholesterol: Less than 100mg/dl
- HDL cholesterol: Higher than 40mg/dl for men and 50mg/dl for women is good, but an HDL of 50mg/dl or higher helps everyone lower their risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides: Less than 150mg/dl
Our educational classes are for individuals with Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes. We offer one-on-one sessions with a certified diabetes educator and/or dietician as well as group sessions involving our entire staff.
The Diabetes Education Program is located on the 8th floor of the Physician Office Building of Broward Health Medical Center. A physician, professional staff or self-referrals are welcome. Click here for our referral prescription form.
For more information on any of our programs, support groups and services, please call us at 954-355-5363.
If you do not have a physician and would like a physician referral, please call the Broward Health Line at 954-759-7400. Most insurance companies reimburse and encourage education for their clients with diabetes. Any questions regarding coverage should be referred to your insurance provider.