High Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer
Have you ever heard of the “silent killer”? No, we’re not talking about a thriller movie or a fictional character. We’re here to shed some light on high blood pressure, also known as “hypertension”, one of the key risk factors for heart disease. Approximately 1 in 3 Americans have high blood pressure, often without realizing it, significantly increasing their risk of developing cardiovascular problems. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Let’s delve into some facts about high blood pressure and what you can do to manage it effectively.
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood against the blood vessel walls or the walls of arteries throughout the body. Blood pressure is made up of two numbers: systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure measures the force when the heart pumps blood out, while diastolic pressure signifies the pressure between heartbeats. Blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day depending on physical activity, increasing the more rigorous it gets.
Pressure Too High
For those who suffer from high blood pressure, aka “hypertension,” blood pressure is abnormally high. This condition makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which, over time, damages arteries, leading to severe complications such as:
- Heart failure
- Vision loss
- Kidney disease
- Heart Attack
Readings of 180/120 or higher are considered a medical emergency known as a “hypertensive crisis”. A hypertensive crisis is a sudden and severe spike in blood pressure that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Symptoms and Causes of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often dubbed the "silent killer" due to its lack of noticeable symptoms. Early detection is crucial, which is why healthcare providers routinely measure blood pressure during appointments. Individuals with very high blood pressure may experience the following:
- Chest pain
- Severe headaches
- Vision changes
Some of the causes of high blood pressure include:
- Family history
- Age over 65
- Health conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease
- Unhealthy diet (high in salt and fats, low in fruits and vegetables)
- Lack of physical activity
- Being overweight
The Pressure is on For Hispanics
High blood pressure can affect anyone of any age and any color. However, some studies have found that Hispanic adults have the highest prevalence of poorly controlled blood pressure compared to other races in the United States. It is estimated that about half of Hispanics are unaware they have high blood pressure. This can be attributed to a variety of different factors, such as:
- Lack of health insurance and preventative care: Hispanics are less likely than other Americans to have health coverage. High levels of poverty, cultural barriers, and language are huge factors in the lack of insurance. Studies have found that the Covid-19 pandemic was a clear illustration of these disparities.
- Pre-existing health conditions: Diabetes is one of the leading health concerns for Hispanics. Obesity rates are approximately 20% higher in Hispanics, which can be attributed to poor diet due to poverty levels. Diabetes and obesity are major contributors to high blood pressure.
- Lack of quality medical care: Because of the economic status of many Hispanics, many are forced to live in areas or neighborhoods that lack access to adequate medical care facilities.
- Cultural beliefs: It is no secret that many men, especially Hispanic men, avoid going to the doctor. Research has found that about 63% of non-white men get regular health screenings, vital to the early detection of health problems such as high blood pressure. “Machismo” culture is engrained in Latino culture and many men view doctor visits as a sign of “vulnerability”.
The lack of early detection of high blood pressure among Hispanics and Hispanic Americans is a huge cause for concern. Learning about risk factors and getting regular check-ups to avoid complications is very important.
How to Lower Blood Pressure
You can help manage your blood pressure by making lifestyle changes. Here are some steps to actively help lower your blood pressure:
- Regular exercise: Exercise increases your breathing rates which over time helps your heart get stronger and pump with less effort.
- Managing your weight: Increased body weight puts strain on your heart, which can raise blood pressure. Cutting out high sugars and fats can help manage weight.
- A heart-healthy diet: Eating fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and beans is a great way to keep your body happy. Limit processed food as it is usually high in salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
- Manage stress: Stress can cause your blood pressure to spike. Try stress-managing techniques such as breathing exercises or meditation to help manage sudden stress.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking over time can damage the arteries, which can later cause high blood pressure and other health complications.
- Take supplements: Supplements can help promote healthy levels of blood pressure.
Supplements to Help Take Some Pressure Off
If you are looking for a natural way to support healthy blood pressure, heart health supplements, together with lifestyle changes, may be a great option for you. Three noteworthy options include:
Pressure X™- A proprietary blend of odorless garlic extract, hawthorn berries, cayenne fruit, parsley root, olive leaves, hops flowers, valerian root, and reishi mushrooms. Garlic and hawthorn berries have been used for centuries to naturally promote lower blood pressure and support heart health.
Garlic 3000™- Studies have shown that garlic promotes healthy blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and supports healthy triglyceride levels. It contains capsaicin which has anti-inflammatory properties and may assist in reducing plaque build-up in arteries.
EPA-DHA Omega-3- Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients, important for managing and preventing heart disease. Studies have found that omega-3 can promote healthy levels of blood pressure.
Your Hispanic American Health Store
Health Hispanica® is a Hispanic-American health store specializing in supplements from Hispanic-American-owned brands such as Natura-Genics® and Yerba Farma®. We strive to provide quality and innovative supplements at fair prices and educate our clients and community on healthy living.
The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.