The Link Between Obesity and High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is also called hypertension. This condition is widely described by medical professionals as “the silent killer” because most people don’t even know they have it until it strikes a major organ system. Many people remain undiagnosed until hypertension is revealed by having their blood pressure taken during a medical or dental appointment. For those who do have symptoms, they include headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, a flushed face and fatigue. Hypertension that isn’t controlled by medication, diet modifications and environmental/social conditions that produce high stress such as an extremely stressful home or job situation will result in stroke, aneurysm, heart attack, heart failure and kidney damage.
According to the Merk Manual of Medical Information, 2nd Edition, more than 50 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure – many don’t even know it! Hypertention is an equal opportunity destroyer, but it tends to affect African Americans in particular. It is twice as common among people who are obese than among those who are not. Severe, long-term hypertension that is untreated can cause swelling of the brain, chronic headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion, drowsiness, seizures, sleeplessness, and coma.
An overweight or obese person will be advised by their doctors to lose weight. Even losing as much as ten pounds can lower blood pressure! For those who are suffering from obesity-related diabetes, a radical change of diet that greatly reduces fat content, stopping alcohol (way high in calories), stopping smoking, and increasing physical activity through yoga, pilates, walking meditation, and mild to moderate increase in aerobic exercise. Regular physical activity helps reduce blood pressure and the functioning of the heart.
In addition to these changes in personal and social environmental levels, doctors will most likely recommend medication to reduce high blood pressure. These include diuretics to eliminate excess water content in the body, an alpha or beta blocker, an ACE inhibitor, an angiotensin II blocker, or a calcium channel blocker. Your health care provider will fully explain all medication options to you. These drugs do have side effects that are generally not serious when compared to the havoc that untreated hypertension unleashes in the body.
For obese people with hypertension, the first front guard action is losing weight. Physicians dislike prescribing the drug phentermine or similar prescription drugs because has so many dangerous side effects, including fatal reactions and addiction to the drug. If phentermine is given, the patient must be very closely monitored by a health care provider to make sure the patient’s use is not causing any serious medical problem.
For an increasing number of overweight and obese people, over-the-counter supplements are their answer to losing weight and keeping it off. Fortunately, illnesses caused by obesity are most often significantly reduced through weight loss and other medical protocol. It comes down to an obese person making a very serious personal choice: do I want to face chronic illness or even death, or do I want to lose weight?
Make your choice today, starting right now.