Courtesy of Blackdoctor.org

Having hypertension may seem like a minor issue, but it’s a health problem that you don’t want to ignore. The Black community, especially Black men, are at high risk for developing the disease. In fact, research reports that Black Americans are 50 percent more likely to have hypertension or high blood pressure in comparison to other racial groups. There are a number of factors that can cause the disease, such as genetics, taking certain medications, and even what we eat. Additionally, some research shows that Black people, in particular, have a sensitivity to salt, which can also make us more prone to developing the illness. 

In particular, Black men are known to have uncontrolled rates of high blood pressure. Unfortunately, unmanaged blood pressure can lead to more severe health issues, such as stroke or dementia. Despite the fact that there’s no fighting genetics, there are ways in which Black men can lessen their symptoms of hypertension. 

How To Better Manage Your Hypertension

Men aren’t always the best at taking their health seriously. Within the Black community, African-American men are especially weary of doctor visits. The healthcare system may be a tough arena to navigate, but caring for your health should always remain a top priority.

Dr. Walter Koroshetz, Director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) advises that patients start learning how to better control their hypertension earlier in life.

Regulating your blood pressure is a serious matter and Black men shouldn’t ignore it. Let’s go over three ways in which men can better manage their hypertension:  

1. Eating A Balanced Diet

Like almost anything, your health woes may be directly linked to what you’re eating. Ever heard of the saying ‘you are what you eat’?  There’s some truth to that, especially in the case of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Foods like processed meats and sugary sweets can cause many of these health problems, and even lead to severe issues down the road. Consider visiting a dietician and partake in a healthy eating plan. 

Exercising also works in conjunction with eating a balanced diet. Being physically active can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Eating right and hitting the gym a few times a week can go a long way in maintaining your high blood pressure. 

2. Take Your Meds

While some medications may raise your blood pressure, others can help lower it. The first step to solving any of your health problems involves notifying your doctor.

Talking with your health provider about your options is a great start in helping manage your hypertension. Fortunately, there are several different medicines you can take to lower your blood pressure and prevent health issues like a stroke. However, it’s important that you take the right medication that’ll suit your needs.  

3. Toss Out The Cigarette

There’s almost a guarantee that you can develop a health issue from indulging in toxic substances. If you smoke a lot throughout the day, you might want to consider tossing out that cigarette.

It’s especially important that you stop smoking Tobacco. According to research, “smoking can destroy all the organs in your body,” especially the heart. Moreover, smoking in any capacity, even if you’re a light smoker, the drug can cause damage to your blood vessels leading to your heart.  

In the end, caring for our bodies means getting proactive. Solving our health problems doesn’t just mean asking the doctor for help. Instead, it helps to do our own research and even make a few lifestyle changes. Men struggling with hypertension can start getting proactive about their health and regain control over their lives again. 

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