Lifestyle changes to fight high blood pressure

Hypertension affects 4 in 10 people all over the world and the numbers are growing every year. For those affected by hypertension there are some lifestyle changes that can attenuate and lower blood pressure values and for those who are in risk of having high blood pressure, they can prevent the disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

There are 3 lifestyle changes that can make a difference:

1. Adopt a healthy diet

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals is good for the overall health of every adult. According to the website WebMD, a healthy diet should include:

  • “Eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods
  • Eating less of foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, such as fried foods
  • Eating more whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts
  • Eating less red meat and sweets
  • Eating foods that are high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium
  • Eating foods with less sodium”

2. Maintain a healthy weight

Having a health weight means keeping a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. Being overweight or obese increases the risk for high blood pressure, as well as other health issues related to excess weight.

3. Be physically active

Practice exercise regularly is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Walking, running or practicing other sports is essential to every adult and children. It is recommended to walk for at least 30 minutes a day in order to be healthy.

These lifestyle changes aren’t just important for controlling blood pressure but also for general wellbeing.  The more healthy behaviors you put in your daily routine, the better your health will be in the future.

May is the month of Hypertension awareness at Health Abroad. It is estimated that 4 in 10 adults globally suffer from hypertension. Raising awareness to the disease is important to put the spotlight in the preventive measures that can be taken to lower these numbers. Read our previous blog posts of the hypertension month:

Consequences of hypertension

Hypertension is a silent and symptomless disease.

Those who suffer from high blood pressure can go on without noticing the condition for years and years and only learn about it when other related diseases appear. If left untreated, hypertension can originate many other diseases and health conditions, and some can be fatal.

According to the American Heart Association, some of the health consequences of untreated hypertension are:

  • Damage to the heart and coronary arteries which can lead to heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection and atherosclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage
  • Vision loss
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Memory loss
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Angina
  • Peripheral artery disease

Controlling blood pressure is essential to keep track of the way the condition is affecting those with hypertension. Blood pressure values vary with age, gender and ethnicity so you should be aware of what values are considered normal and what values are considered high and need immediate action. Regular doctor visits and regular screenings are very important to control existing hypertension or to prevent hypertension.

May is the month of Hypertension awareness at Health Abroad. It is estimated that 4 in 10 adults globally suffer from hypertension. Raising awareness to the disease is important to put the spotlight in the preventive measures that can be taken to lower these numbers. Read our previous blog posts of the hypertension month:

The best way to learn how good your health is, and if you are in risk of having high blood pressure or other health condition, is to do a check-up. Medical Port offers a wide range of check-ups from the most general to the most specific ones. Learn more about our check-ups in our website.

World Hypertension Day

Today, May 17 is the day to talk about hypertension. Hypertension is a disease that affects millions all over the world.

It is estimated that 4 in each 10 adults have high levels of blood pressure. Hypertension is the main risk factor for disease burden worldwide. Strokes and heart attacks are two of the main consequences of hypertension.

A healthy lifestyle can help combat hypertension. Some attitudes towards life can help make a difference:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Reducing salt intake
  • Practicing regular physical exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

    World Hypertension Day
    World Hypertension Day

The best way to learn how good your health is, and if you are in risk of having high blood pressure or other health condition, is to do a check-up. Medical Port offers a wide range of check-ups from the most general to the most specific ones. Learn more about our check-ups in our website.

May is the month of Hypertension awareness at Health Abroad. It is estimated that 4 in 10 adults globally suffer from hypertension. Raising awareness to the disease is important to put the spotlight in the preventive measures that can be taken to lower these numbers. Read our previous blog posts of the hypertension month:

Causes of hypertension

May is the month of Hypertension awareness at Health Abroad. It is estimated that 4 in 10 adults globally suffer from hypertension. Raising awareness to the disease is important to put the spotlight in the preventive measures that can be taken to lower these numbers.

According to UK’s National Health System (NHS), the cause of 90% of hypertension cases isn’t known and this is called primary hypertension. Only 10% of hypertension cases have known causes and it’s called secondary hypertension, meaning it is originated by other diseases or conditions.

Several factors can be responsible for the development of primary hypertension:

  • Age – hypertension risk increases with age
  • Hereditary – hypertension seems to be inherited from family members
  • Consume of daily excessive amounts of salt
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Smoking
  • Drink alcohol in excess.

Secondary hypertension, although less common, can be originated from several causes:

  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Narrowing the arteries supplying the kidneys
  • Hormonal conditions
  • Conditions like lupus
  • Use of oral contraceptive pill
  • Use of painkillers

As a reference for those who believe they might have high blood pressure, there are four different blood pressure levels:

  1. Normal: less than 120 over 80
  2. Prehypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
  3. Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159 over 90-99
  4. Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above over 100 and above

When people reach levels of blood pressure above 120 over above 80, they should go see a doctor and start to treat and control the condition right away. While it can be a normal body response to increase blood pressure momentarily, increased continuous values of high blood pressure are indicative of a condition and not a body response.

If you would like to learn more about hypertension you can read our previous post that answers to 3 common questions about hypertension. Our next post will be about the World Hypertension Day and why this day is observed all over the world.

3 answers about Hypertension

May 17 is the World Hypertension Day, a day intended to bring awareness about the disease and its consequences for the world population.

It is estimated that 4 in 10 adults globally suffer from hypertension. Raising awareness to the disease is important to put the spotlight in the preventive measures that can be taken to lower these numbers.

Health Abroad will dedicate the whole month of May to the topic of hypertension. We will share information and tips to deal with hypertension. To start, we are answering 3 common questions about hypertension.

1.What is hypertension?

According to the World Health Organization, hypertension is:

“(…) a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure, putting them under increased stress. Each time the heart beats; it pumps blood into the vessels, which carry the blood throughout the body. Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure, the harder the heart has to pump.”

2. What are the symptoms of hypertension?

Hypertension is called a “silent disease” because most people who suffer from it show little or no symptoms at all. Most of the symptoms of hypertension can be misleading as they are quite general. They can be:
“(…) headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, palpitations of the heart and nose bleeds (…)”, according to the World Health Organization.

3. If there are no symptoms how can hypertension be detected?

Adults should check their blood pressure regularly in order to detect changes in values that might be alarming for their health. If the blood pressure is high, preventive measures should be taken in order to control the values and avoid further increases. When high values of blood pressure are detected some measures can be taken to lower them:

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat healthy (eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis for example)
  • Practice regular exercise
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Reduce salt intake

When these measures aren’t enough to lower blood pressure, medication can be the solution to control hypertension.

Hypertension can cause several health conditions that can ultimately lead to death. In the next post we will discuss more about what causes hypertension and what are the consequences.

The Washington Post’s financial guide to retire abroad

Following our previous blog post about why Americans should retire to Portugal (click here to read it), we are now sharing an article from The Washington Post with a financial guide to retire abroad.

Plan a retirement abroad requires careful planning and many places can be cheaper than the United States.
The financial guide from The Washington Post includes the following topics that prospect retirees should take into account before making the decision:

  • Easy residency programs for foreigners – In Portugal, the Golden Visa residency program makes it easy for foreigners to buy property and establish residency in the country with tax benefits
  • Cost of living and lifestyle – “(…) in the Algarve region of Portugal, named the most attractive place to retire abroad by Live and Invest Overseas, a retiree could live on $1,410 a month, including $600 for rent.”
  • Healthcare – Medical Port can help you with this. We have special healthcare solutions for foreign residents in Portugal that have health insurance or not. The For Health card is a solution for those foreign citizens who live in Portugal and have healthcare needs that aren’t usually covered on health insurances.
  • Bank accounts – It is advised to keep a bank account in the home country and another in the country where you are retiring.
  • Social security – Portugal is one of the countries where American citizens can move and still receive their social security benefits.
  • Pay taxes – Retirees will still need to pay taxes in the United States.
  • Buy property – While some countries make it hard for foreign citizens to buy property, others – like Portugal – make it easy like any other national citizen would.

Spend the retirement years in a foreign country is an exciting idea for many Americans who look for better weather, affordable cost of living and the opportunity to experience a new culture.

Portugal is becoming increasingly popular as a retirement destination and has received for the past few years the top places on the best retirement abroad rankings (click here to read more about it).

To learn more about Medical Port’s solution for healthcare for foreign citizens in Portugal, the For Health card, click here.

Read the full article on The Washington Post, by clicking here.