High blood pressure is a national epidemic and has been for some time. Over a third of all adult Americans have high blood pressure and most don’t even know it because there are no symptoms.
High blood pressure, if untreated, can lead to stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and eye problems.
It’s amazing with all the millions of dollars spent urging men and women of the dangers of high blood pressure that so many seem unconcerned about it. Even more disheartening is that the incidence of high blood pressure in children is on the rise. This has occurred mainly in the last ten years and is mainly due to more and more children being overweight or obese.
A primary reason for the lack of awareness among many people with high blood pressure is that they do not go to the doctor on a regular basis. Maybe they can’t afford to. Maybe they don’t have the time. Possibly they’re afraid of doctors.
Whatever the reason, the only way to reliably know if your child has high blood pressure is to have her blood pressure checked by a doctor or health care provider. It’s simple, it takes almost no time, and it’s important to do.
Even though heredity plays a major part in the ease at which someone develops hypertension, there are things that we all can do to decrease the chance that our kids get it or to help alleviate it once they do have it.
It all starts with diet. If your kid is a fast food junkie, she’s going to have to change her ways. One of the reasons that many low income people tend to have higher blood pressures is they tend to eat more fast foods – because fast foods are comparatively inexpensive. But fast foods are typically loaded with fats and salt – the two primary diet triggers associated with high blood pressure. Change her diet.
Of course, changing a diet is easier said then done. If your daughter has eaten fast foods since a baby, her taste buds have acclimated themselves to having fatty and salty foods. This can be changed, but only with effort. This may also involve changing the diet for the entire family. Which is not a bad thing. There are plenty of good books out there on nutrition, you only have to be concerned enough to read them and to follow through with their advice.
Second, aerobic exercise is always good. It’s good for helping to stave off hypertension and it’s good for preventing an existing high blood pressure condition from getting worse. You should always consult your doctor before embarking your child on any exercise program. This is even truer if she suffers from hypertension.
There’s no excuse for not setting up a minimal aerobic exercise program. Exercise doesn’t have to be dull. It can even be incorporated in your daily routine. For example, if you and your child like shopping, bringing them with you on a brisk walk through the mall can be both enjoyable and healthy.
An added advantage of exercise is that it also helps to control and regulate appetite. So not only does it burn calories and help you to lose weight, it also helps to inhibit your appetite.
Hypertension, once developed, is a chronic, lifetime condition. It’s also expensive – in both dollars and lifestyle. High blood pressure medications and treatments will cause your child thousands over her lifetime. It will also limit the activities she can do. Help protect your child’s future by doing something today.