May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Did you know? There are currently 11 million people living in the United States who do not realize they are living with high blood pressure. That’s in addition to millions who have been diagnosed.

Our team at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah wants to share some insight about the main causes of high blood pressure, as well as steps you can take to help manage your blood pressure and stress levels.

What Can Cause High Blood Pressure?

The American Heart Association states that there are approximately 100 million people living in the United States with high blood pressure. There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing high blood pressure, such as following a diet that is high in salt and fat, living with chronic medical conditions like kidney problems and diabetes, and having a family history of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure can often come about with no symptoms. But it is important to know what symptoms could be associated with dangerously high blood pressure and to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

  • Pounding feeling in the head or chest
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Facial flushing
  • Sweating

How Can You Treat High Blood Pressure?

The good news is that if you do experience high blood pressure, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your blood pressure and maintain it.

For starters, you want to make sure you are at a healthy weight, which can be achieved through a healthy diet and exercise. In addition, you want to limit your caffeine, avoid smoking and cut back on stress. Stress is a unique risk factor for high blood pressure, since it releases hormones that increase blood pressure.

Ways to Manage Your Stress

  • Take a break from the thing causing you stress.
  • Meditate or sit quietly with your thoughts.
  • Get support from loved ones.
  • Smile or laugh.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Accept the things you cannot control.

Not feeling at your best? Schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment with AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah today for a medical evaluation and treatment plan.