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Heart Disease: Effects of High Blood Pressure

August 6, 2020
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Transcript

"When I try to explain blood pressure to patients, I try to give them an example and I hold their forearm and I ask him to flex against me. And I said, that's what your heart is trying to do when you have high blood pressure. And you're not going to last as long lifting more weight that you need to, in terms of your muscle work. You you've all done weightlifting where after a while, your muscle wants to just give up and quit on you. So it's really important to control blood pressure. And sometimes patient go well, when I take these medicines, my pressure is lower than normal. If they're asymptomatic, I find that to be beneficial, it actually is helping them lift the weight. And so, as a result, I'm not too panicked when a patient has a blood pressure of 100 instead of the norm of 120. So I encourage patients to control their blood pressure and some of the best ways to control blood pressure doesn't require any medication. Because one of the things that affects blood pressure is diet. Alcohol, caffeine, salt intake, the type of foods that you eat, all things that can affect your blood pressure. So before I tell patients to initiate any kind of medications, I make sure that they actually have a problem with blood pressure by checking their blood pressure at two different visits, at least two weeks apart. And if their blood pressure reads high, then I start talking to them about lifestyle. First, exercise. Walking, 30 minutes minimum, five days a week minimum, is very healthy and likely to contribute to improvement of blood pressure over time. Watching their diet, limiting salt intake, and then coming back for a followup. If these measures don't work, we have numerous medications that are generically available that are not costly, that are quite effective in controlling blood pressure and reducing risks over time. "

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