Take Charge Of Your Health Know Your Numbers

Do you know the signs of high blood pressure? It’s a trick question because high blood pressure, also known as the “silent killer,” typically has no symptoms.

Over the past two years, my father has been battling with his health. He checks his numbers regardless of how he feels. This year we will celebrate his 75th birthday. Before my father was told he had to have his heart valves replaced the doctors had no clue why his blood pressure was inconsistent. He was misdiagnosed over a period of five years and treated for other health conditions, but the symptoms got worse. After finding him a team of doctors who wanted to listen and not just prescribe medication, we found a resolution toward getting my father on the road to better health. Watching my father battling for his life and losing my brother in 2016 changed my perspective on maintaining my overall health. My brother was only 44 years old when he passed.

When I heard that nearly 80% of Black adults who have high blood pressure don’t have it under control which puts them at higher risk of heart attack and stroke – that just did not sit right with me. I wanted to figure out how to take charge of my health and encourage my husband to do the same. This would require us both to search for the right doctors because I am not okay with the systemic racism that often prevents black men and women from obtaining quality health care. I have battled for years silently with fibroids. No one told me the long-term side effects could ultimately lead to a stroke. Eating a well-balanced diet and limited sugar not only helped me manage my fibroids, but I was able to keep my blood pressure number in check and take charge of my health. Eliminating stress also played a huge part in keeping my blood pressure normal and my heart healthy,  

The facts are not myths in the black community and the following are true:

• 860,000 people die from heart disease annually in the U.S.

• 46% of U.S. adults have hypertension—the leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

• The prevalence of high BP in Black women is nearly 40% higher than white women in the  U.S., and 22% higher for Black men compared to white men.

• Among Black adults with high BP, nearly 80% do not have their BP controlled to goal.

• Hypertension is known as the “silent killer” because often there may be no symptoms, despite its role in significantly increasing the risk for heart disease and stroke.

• Uncontrolled high blood pressure (BP) can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and other life-threatening conditions.

• High blood pressure is the most common controllable risk factor for stroke.

RTP Has Your Back

The national Release brings the Pressure (RTP) initiative together a diverse coalition of healthcare organizations, the RTP heart health squad, who are dedicated to partnering with the Black community to improve heart health.

Join the heart health squad and Take the Pledge! And tune into #WeDerbywithHeart, streaming on Ebony.com at https://www.ebony.com/rtp-we-derby-with-heart/.

This post is sponsored by Release the Pressure, but the opinions and personal experiences are 100% mine.

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