There are many reasons to follow doctor’s orders in managing your blood pressure, the most common of which being to help prevent heart attack and stroke. But researchers have found a new reason for avoiding high blood pressure. Using MRI scans of the brain, doctors have been able to detect early signs of brain damage caused by high blood pressure. This damage is the type that has been linked to strokes that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
This is just one more way “the silent killer,” as high blood pressure is often labeled, can affect a person before outward signs of disease are detected. A person may have high blood pressure for years before showing signs of dementia. Therefore, it’s important to control your blood pressure to lessen the impact on your body, helping stave off dementia before it fully develops.
Tips for Controlling Blood Pressure
The suggestions for controlling blood pressure sound simple and are guidelines most people are familiar with. But when it comes to the day to day practice, it can sometimes be hard. Below we’ve listed the common tips for controlling your blood pressure, along with some ideas to help make these a regular part of your lifestyle.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions when it comes to taking your blood pressure medicine. If you don’t take it regularly your blood pressure can get out of control. Keep medicine in a place where you will see it to remember to take it at the same time every day. Also, set up a prescription refill service with your pharmacy so you never run out.
- Exercise regularly. Keeping your weight under control is one of the best ways to control blood pressure. Find some people to walk with or go to exercise classes with you to help make exercise more fun.
- Eat a diet low in sodium. For people with high blood pressure, the recommended daily sodium intake should be 1,500 mg a day or less. Stay away from processed food as much as possible. And be aware of foods that contain high amounts of sodium but don’t even taste salty, like bread, condiments, deli meat and pizza.
- Limit alcohol intake. Drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol can not only raise blood pressure, but it can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medicine.
If you or someone you love is suffering from signs of dementia, call Piedmont HomeHealth. Our professionals are able to provide respite care and help with the daily responsibilities to help maintain good health.