Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious chronic disease. Unlike many other conditions it has no signs or symptoms, so patients can have the disease for years without knowing. Left untreated high blood pressure can cause serious injury and even death.
But high blood pressure is completely preventable and for those already with the disease it is manageable with proper diet and exercise.
First things first – Get the Facts.
There are many myths and realities of hypertension. It’s best to know what the real causes and prevention methods are available to patients.
- Stress and aggression does not cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure might be called hyper-tension, but the disease has no link to anxiety, temperament or personality. However some common stress coping mechanisms – like smoking, drinking alcohol and overeating, increases the risk of developing the disease.
- High blood pressure isn’t just a part of aging. Though adults over 65 are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure it isn’t something that just comes with age.
- Your goal shouldn’t be to get off medication. The treatment goal is to get your blood pressure at a healthy level and maintain that. Even if you do have your blood pressure in check, you shouldn’t stop taking medication without consulting your doctor.
- Women get high blood pressure as often as men. Half of the 75 million adults who have high blood pressure in the United States are women. After menopause, the risk of developing hypertension becomes higher tan that of a man that same age. Pregnancy and using birth control also increases the risk of developing the disease.
- Even those with a healthy lifestyle can develop high blood pressure. Proper diet and exercise is key to staving off high blood pressure but that isn’t enough. Quitting smoking, managing stress and avoiding excess drinking helps reduce your risk of developing hypertension and other chronic diseases. If you need help conquering vices, Catholic Health Initiatives is here to help.
CHI wants to help you manage high blood pressure. The Catholic Health Initiatives Personal Wellness Program offers six different programs to assist you with your health goals.
- The Balance program offers a personally tailored weight-loss plan.
- The Breathe program helps you come up with a plan for quitting smoking.
- The Energize program teaches you how to incorporate physical activity into your daily life.
- The Nourish program helps you evaluate your current eating habits.
- The Relax program can help you learn to cope with stress.
- The Shine program is designed for people who have chronic health conditions.
CHI also offers annual biometric screening. Biometric testing gathers data on blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol and blood sugar. The test only takes a few minutes and you get your results right away.
The screening is voluntary, confidential and free of charge.
Biometric screening is a part of the CHI Healthy Spirit Initiative, to bring healthy community to the workplace. Make sure to look out for announcements when your local facility is offering biometric screening. At that time, make sure to schedule an appointment.