How to Help Lower High Blood Pressure

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High blood pressure can be lowered by losing a little bit of weight, exercising and limiting the amount of salt in the diet. Find out why no one should get more than 2,000 milligrams of salt each day with help from a pediatrician in this free video on high blood pressure.

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Hi, I'm Dr. David Hill and today we're going to talk about how to help lower high blood pressure. Now high blood pressure or hypertension as doctors like to call it is called the silent killer for a reason. Most people's blood pressure has to get extremely high before they have symptoms. When they do have symptoms those symptoms may involve chest pressure, shortness of breath, blurred vision, headache, even confusion. But if you're to the point that you're having those symptoms, you may even need to be hospitalized. You need to seek care immediately. Most people discover they have high blood pressure through physical exam or health screening or even at a drugstore or grocery store when they stick their arm in one of those machines. One high blood pressure reading does not high blood pressure make usually. You want to confirm that reading a couple of times over. However, if you get three readings that are over a 120/80, I know you're saying, "Wait, that's pretty low", but that's what we're shooting for right now because that's when high blood pressure starts to affect your body. So if you're running a over 120, that's the high number that occurs when your heart pumps over 80, that's the low number that happens when your heart is relaxing, you need to be doing something about your blood pressure. I would urge you to talk to a doctor so that you can talk about all the risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease, not just your blood pressure. At the same time, you don't have to wait for a doctor's appointment to start making useful lifestyle changes. The good news is that even small changes in lifestyle can make a big difference in your blood pressure. So what can you do? Number one, loss a little weight. You don't have to lose a lot of weight to make a huge difference. A five percent weight loss can bring your blood pressure down dramatically. You may still be quite overweight even with the five percent weight loss, but your blood pressure is going to come down a lot with that. Second of all, exercise. Even if you don't lose a single pound, just the fact that you're moving around and exercising is going to help you out. Third of all and this is critical, salt. Americans eat an enormous amount of salt and it contributes tremendously to our incidence of high blood pressure. The salt doesn't have just to be what you shake on to your food, it's often hidden in the form of sodium especially in processed foods. So if you're going out to restaurants or eating processed or prepared foods, chances are you are getting too much sodium. You need to replace that with home cooked, preferably fresh meals. Read, read the labels; look at the menus; ask for information about sodium. You really shouldn't be getting more than to about 2,000 milligrams or two grams of sodium a day; the average Americans get eight grams of sodium a day. So get that salt out of there including the hidden salt. So, talking about reducing your blood pressure through lifestyle change, I am Dr. David Hill.

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