Lower your blood pressure to stop a ‘silent killer’

The best way to avoid the consequences of high blood pressure is to commit to the treatment plan you make with your doctor.

(ProActive Sports Rehab offers a weekly column promoting health, fitness and physical therapy. Please be sure to check back each week for a new topic!)

High blood pressure is often silent — showing no signs or symptoms — but it’s not invisible. Survivors are speaking out to show the real impact of high blood pressure, and a new campaign from the Ad Council, American Heart Association and American Medical Association provides resources to help you and your doctor create a treatment plan that works for you.

Survivors William, Jill, Francisco, Allyson and others show you what high blood pressure looks like while telling their stories at LowerYourHBP.org to encourage you to get your blood pressure under control before it’s too late.

Understanding High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is any level of blood pressure above 130/80. Its consequences include heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, vision loss, sexual dysfunction and peripheral artery disease. According to the American Heart Association, 46 percent of Americans have high blood pressure, but only about half of them have it under control.

Committing to a Plan
Once you know you have high blood pressure, you can manage it very effectively through changes in eating habits, physical activity and, when needed, medication. The best way to avoid the consequences of high blood pressure is to talk to your doctor and commit to a treatment plan that works for your life. Here are some questions to answer in preparation for your doctor visit:
• How have you been feeling?
• Is anything preventing you from sticking to your current plan?
• Any changes in your blood pressure?
• Any side effects from any medication or symptoms?
• How do you treat your side effects and/or symptoms?
• What questions or concerns do you have for your doctor?

Overcoming Everyday Hurdles
If your treatment plan feels overwhelming, your doctor can help you create a more achievable plan. The most effective plan is the one you actually follow. You can use the guide at LowerYourHBP.org to start the right conversation with your doctor.

If a hectic schedule, the cost of medication, or your habits are keeping you from sticking to your treatment, talk to your doctor about ways to overcome these barriers. Be clear about your concerns and get all the answers you need.

Learn More
You can find important facts, stats and tips and see the campaign’s videos online at www.LowerYourHBP.org. There, you can also find helpful tools as you work with your doctor to create or get a treatment plan to bring your blood pressure under control.

ProActive Sports Rehab, with offices in Hamburg and West Seneca, offers one-on-one physical therapy and rehabilitation services. For more information, please visit http://proactivesportsrehab.com or call 674-9600 (West Seneca office) or 648-8700 (Hamburg office). You can also follow ProActive Sports Rehab on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProActiveSportsRehab for frequent updates.

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