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What to do after being dianosed

What to do after being dianosed What to do after being dianosed

Hypertension, a condition marked by abnormally high blood pressure, is more common than many people may recognize. A 2021 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicated that nearly half of adults in the United States, or roughly 116 million people, have hypertension. And hypertension isn’t exclusive to Americans, as the World Health Organization notes that the number of people living with the condition has doubled to 1.28 billion since 1990.

Despite its prevalence, hypertension is not normal, nor is it something to take lightly. In fact, the American Heart Association notes that, if left undetected or uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to an assortment of serious, and potentially deadly, conditions, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney disease.

Since the threat posed by high blood pressure is so significant, it’s imperative that individuals know what to do upon being diagnosed with hypertension. The AHA notes that individuals diagnosed with hypertension can try various strategies to get their number down to a normal, healthy range.

• Eat a healthy, low-salt diet. A diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lowfat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes, and non-tropical vegetable oils ensures people are getting ample nutrition from healthy sources. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan is designed specifically to help people manage their blood pressure and emphasizes limiting salt, red meat and foods with added sugars, including sweets and sugary beverages. It’s important that all people, and especially those with high blood pressure, limit their salt intake, as sodium is known to increase blood pressure.

• Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. The AHA notes that excessive alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure. In addition, despite what popular misconceptions may suggest, there is no evidence to suggest that red wine consumption is good for heart health. Like other alcoholic beverages, red wine should be consumed in moderation, if at all. The AHA urges individuals to limit their alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and no one more than one drink per day for women.

• Exercise regularly.

Routine exercise benefits the heart in myriad ways, including helping people control high blood pressure. Individuals recently diagnosed with high blood pressure who are unaccustomed to physical activity should work with their physicians and a personal trainer to design an exercise regimen that’s within their abilities. As their bodies get used to increased physical activity, people can then work with the same individuals to tweak their routines so they can keep making progress toward their fitness goals. Routine exercise also helps to reduce stress, which the AHA notes is another step people with hypertension should take to lower their blood pressure.

• Shed extra weight. Each of the aforementioned strategies can help people shed extra weight, which is another step the AHA recommends for people with high blood pressure. The AHA notes that losing as few as 10 pounds can help to manage high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight also reduces strain on the heart, thus lowering the risk for high blood pressure and the conditions that can arise from it.

More than 1.2 billion people across the globe are currently living with high blood pressure. Taking steps to reduce hypertension is a great way to promote long-term health and overcome this often silent killer.

A desire to lose weight and look good compels millions of people to adopt healthy habits every day. But shedding fat is about more than looking good, especially when that fat has accumulated in individuals’ abdomens.

Individuals may aspire to lose belly fat so they can fit into old outfits or look better in photos, and those are perfectly valid reasons to embrace healthy weight loss strategies. However, an even better reason to banish excessive belly fat is the link that such fat has to long-term health problems. What’s so bad about belly fat?

Seeing belly fat as a merely cosmetic concern overlooks the effects it has on overall health. According to the Mayo Clinic, belly fat is not limited to the extra layer of padding just below the skin known as subcutaneous fat. Belly fat also includes visceral fat, which means it extends to deep inside the abdomen and surrounds internal organs. Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that visceral fat in the belly is very close to the liver, which can turn it into cholesterol. From there, the fat goes through the bloodstream and may collect along the walls of the arteries, potentially contributing to a hardening and narrowing of the arteries known as atherosclerosis. The complications of atherosclerosis depends on which arteries are affected, but they can include an assortment of diseases that affect the arteries and a greater risk for aneurysms and chronic kidney disease.

Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that visceral fat is just as harmful for the heart as high blood pressure and smoking. So while efforts to reduce belly fat may initially be embraced to improve appearance, individuals should know that reducing fat in their midsections also can reduce their risk for a host of conditions, some of which are deadly.

How much belly fat is too much?

No two individuals are the same, and some who are already at increased risk for heart disease and other ailments may be in greater danger than others if they have a significant amount of belly fat. But the National Institutes of Health notes that women with a waist that is more than 40 inches and men with a waist that is more than 35 inches may be more likely to develop health problems related to belly fat, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes, than their peers with smaller waistlines.

What are the best ways to decrease belly fat?

Individuals with substantial belly fat should work in concert with their physicians to develop a healthy regimen to decrease that fat. A combination of diet and exercise is generally recommended, but how much exercise and which foods to eat will depend on individuals’ current conditions and medical histories. So it’s imperative that individuals speak to their physicians before making any drastic changes to their diets and fitness regimens.

Ample belly fat poses a significant threat to individuals’ overall health. Embracing strategies to reduce belly fat through healthy means can help people slim down and improve their long-term health outlook.

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