Chronic disease is something that affects many Australians every single year. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at a condition known as chronic hypertension, what it is exactly and how best to manage it.
What Is Chronic Hypertension
Chronic hypertension is another term for what’s most commonly referred to as high blood pressure. It’s alleged that approximately 1 in 3 people in Australia over the age of 18 suffer from high blood pressure at least some of the time. Not everyone who experiences high blood pressure (hypertension) has a chronic case of it. Chronic means it’s an ongoing problem that doesn’t abate, but chronic hypertension is a common condition among Australians. The real danger associated with chronic hypertension is it increases the risk of heart disease and the potential for a heart attack.
Chronic Hypertension Causes
Let’s now take a look at some common causes of high blood pressure. To explain blood pressure in general, it’s the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. This force is obviously being regulated by the way the heart pumps blood. Blood pressure can also be affected by the elasticity and size of the artery walls. Being overweight or obese is one of the main causes of hypertension, as the heart continuously has to work harder to pump blood through the body of an overweight person. Plus, every physical activity requires added exertion due to the excess weight being moved. Excessive, regular intakes of food high in sodium (salt) can also lead to developing chronic hypertension problems. Other contributing factors are a lack of regular exercise and a generally poor diet. With improper eating habits combined with a sedentary lifestyle, the heart loses muscle fitness and the body naturally gains more dead weight in fat cells.
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How To Manage Chronic Hypertension
Chronic disease management is vital if a person with hypertension wants to control and improve the condition, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease. So, how do you manage a case of chronic hypertension? If the individual is overweight, one of the very first steps should be focusing on ways to drop that excess weight. A person who is overweight and has high blood pressure won’t want to embark on a rigorous exercise routine immediately, but rather start off slow and follow a careful diet to reduce excess body weight before increasing the exercise regime. Otherwise, it could simply put too much pressure on a heart that is already struggling. Naturally, someone who is suffering from high blood pressure should have regular consultations with their GP for both monitoring and medications to control the problem. Your GP may even recommend you to a heart specialist in more severe cases of hypertension. Reducing your salt intake can help ease hypertension and as a way of maintaining a healthy diet, try and keep sodium at low levels at all times. Your body still requires some salt, but many Australians consume far more sodium than they need and this can prove dangerous in the long term. Even consuming too much caffeine, or other stimulants, on a regular basis can cause high blood pressure, as these stimulants can cause the heart to speed up and work harder. Everything should be done in moderation when it comes to your diet, but increase exercise as excess weight diminishes and you feel yourself becoming fitter.
Chronic Disease Management Services for People With Hypertension
If chronic hypertension is a major issue for you or a loved one and it’s proving a struggle to manage it, then calling in professional assistance is advised. Professional home care services can help a person with chronic hypertension manage the condition, along with advice and strategies to self-manage as well. It’s in the best interests of the individual to get the condition under control so blood pressure can be gradually reduced to more normal levels. You can only spend so much time with your GP, so if need be, home care assistance may be what’s required, at least for a period of time until you have your hypertension under control and can self-manage.
Chronic hypertension can lead to heart disease, so it’s vital that you get the condition under control as soon as possible. Regular check-ups with your GP for monitoring blood pressure are recommended.