The American Heart Association states that around 100 million people living in the United States have high blood pressure. Beyond that number, though, approximately 11 million Americans have elevated blood pressure, but don’t know it, which is why it is so important to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.

During National High Blood Pressure Education Month this May, our team at AFC Urgent Care Fountain City wants you to know your risk of high blood pressure, as well as ways you can help to prevent high blood pressure during your lifetime.

How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure?

First, let’s define blood pressure. It’s the pressure of blood moving against the arteries in your body. When your blood pressure is high, it means blood is hitting those artery walls forcefully, which can damage them.

In many cases, elevated blood pressure will not cause any symptoms. That’s why it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly to ensure you’re staying in a healthy range.

Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure

  • Having a family history of high blood pressure
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not being physically active
  • Using tobacco
  • Eating too much salt (sodium) in your diet
  • Eating too little potassium in your diet

What Can I Do to Prevent High Blood Pressure?

The key to maintaining a healthy blood pressure number is to live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet to help maintain a normal weight. Getting enough quality sleep and not smoking are also important components of a healthy lifestyle.

Diet-wise, it’s especially important to watch your sodium intake. So you’ll want to keep an eye out for foods that contain excess sodium, along with others that can increase your blood pressure.

Foods That Can Cause High Blood Pressure

  • Frozen fish and seafood
  • Sea salt
  • Pizza
  • Processed foods
  • Dairy products
  • Sandwiches
  • Alcohol

AFC Urgent Care Fountain City is now offering AFC TeleCare services! Visit our website today to book a virtual visit.