High blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) is a symptomless “silent killer” that quietly damages blood vessels and leads to serious health problems.

While there is no cure, using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more.

Is your blood pressure in a healthy or an unhealthy range? The best way to know is to get your blood pressure checked. If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should monitor your blood pressure regularly. Maintaining an awareness of your numbers can alert you to any changes and help you detect patterns. Tracking your results over time will also reveal if the changes you’ve made are working.

Make lifestyle changes that matter:

– Eat a well-balanced diet that’s low in salt

– Limit alcohol

– Enjoy regular physical activity

– Manage stress

– Maintain a healthy weight

– Quit smoking

– Take your medications properly

– Work together with your doctor

Managing blood pressure is a lifelong commitment

If you have high blood pressure, it’s vital that you listen to your doctor. Remember: You’re a part of your healthcare team. You and Dr Karin Vela are partners.

Educate yourself about HBP and learn how to monitor your blood pressure at home. Armed with this information, you can commit to living heart healthy.

By adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can:

– Reduce high blood pressure.

– Prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure.

– Enhance the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

– Lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney damage, vision loss and sexual dysfunction.

While heart disease is still a leading killer around the world, death rates have decreased significantly. You can reclaim your health today for a better tomorrow. Earlier and better treatment of high blood pressure has played a key role in that decrease.

If you’re one of the people battling high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension), here are some solutions to help you collaborate with your healthcare provider and get your blood pressure under control:

– Ask about your blood pressure at your annual checkup.If it’s high, check your blood pressure regularly between appointments – at home or at a pharmacy with a blood pressure monitor. Follow up with your doctor based on her recommendations.

Know your numbers. Learn what your blood pressure numbers mean to you and your health.

– Become a tracker. Keep a log of your medication, blood pressure levels and questions to ask your doctor as they come to mind.

– Be flexible. It may take a while to get to your blood pressure goal. It may also take more than one medication in addition to lifestyle changes to get you there. Keep in close touch with Dr Karin Vela along the way to create the best plan for yourself.

– Know yourself. What keeps you from keeping up with your medicines? Eating healthy? Losing weight? Be aware of your barriers to better health and talk with Dr Karin Vela about them.

Once your treatment program becomes routine, maintaining a lower blood pressure is easier. Remind yourself that by managing your blood pressure, you are lowering your risk for heart attack, stroke and other serious conditions.