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High Blood Pressure Awareness Month: Understanding and Managing Your Health

May is High Blood Pressure Awareness Month, and at UM Charles Regional Medical Center, we are dedicated to educating our community about this common yet serious condition. High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects nearly half of American adults—that’s over 100 million people. Each year, the numbers seem to climb, emphasizing the need for increased awareness and proactive health management.


What is Considered High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as it flows through them. When this pressure is too high, it causes the heart to work harder than normal, which can lead to damage to your heart and arteries. High blood pressure is generally considered to be a reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher. It’s important to know that high blood pressure often does not cause noticeable symptoms, which is why it is sometimes called the “silent killer.”


The Causes of High Blood Pressure

Several factors can contribute to high blood pressure. Some of the most common include:


  • Genetics: If your family members have high blood pressure, you may be at a higher risk.
  • Age: The likelihood of high blood pressure increases as you age.
  • Lifestyle choices: Lack of physical activity, a diet high in sodium and low in potassium, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking can all increase your chances of high blood pressure.
  • Chronic conditions: Conditions like kidney disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea can also lead to high blood pressure.
  • Understanding these causes is the first step in managing your risk.


How to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Fortunately, there are several ways to manage and even lower your blood pressure:


  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight can increase your risk of high blood pressure.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Reduce your intake of salt, sugar, and fat.
  • Exercise regularly: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, like walking or cycling, each week.
  • Limit alcohol and quit smoking: Both of these can raise your blood pressure.
  • Manage stress: Try activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.


By making these changes, you can significantly lower your chances of experiencing the health problems associated with high blood pressure.


Visit Us for a Check-Up

High Blood Pressure Awareness Month is the perfect time to take control of your health. At UM Charles Regional Medical Group — Primary Care, our dedicated team is here to help you every step of the way. We encourage everyone, especially those who have risk factors for high blood pressure, to get their blood pressure checked regularly. Early detection and treatment are key to managing high blood pressure and maintaining a healthy, active life.


By staying informed and proactive, we can all lead healthier lives. Let’s make this High Blood Pressure Awareness Month a starting point for lasting health improvements.

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