How to Control High Blood Pressure that Can Lead to Incontinence

by Dianna Malkowski, Physician Assistant & Nutritionist

Dianna Malkowski
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month, as recognized by the National Institutes of Health. More than half of the world’s stroke deaths are caused by elevated blood pressure levels, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A consistent reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher is considered to be high blood pressure, or hypertension.

High blood pressure can also affect the bladder. Medications can affect the bladder muscles and cause urinary retention and overflow incontinence. If heart disease is present, it can cause excessive urine buildup and decreased mobility that makes it difficult to reach the bathroom in time.

There are two important elements to controlling and lowering high blood pressure: taking prescribed medications as directed by your doctor, and adopting a healthier lifestyle. Here are some healthy lifestyle tips that even individuals with normal levels can follow to prevent high blood pressure.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Those whose doctors advise them to lose weight should aim for a rate of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Losing 1 pound per week requires eating 3,500 fewer calories, or 500 fewer calories per day, or burning an extra 3,500 calories per week.
  • Be physically active. Even 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity on most days of the week can help control high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Moderate-level activity includes housework, gardening, using stairs instead of an elevator, bicycling, swimming and walking.
  • Follow a healthy eating plan. Ask a registered dietitian for help creating a diet plan low in sodium, saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts.
  • Keep alcohol consumption low. According to National Institutes of Health guidelines, men should have no more than two drinks per day, and women no more than one drink daily.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can thicken the blood, leading to increased plaque buildup in arteries and damage to blood vessels leading to the brain.
  • Get regular blood pressure checks. Blood pressure can be checked at home with monitors and cuffs designed for personal use.
  • Dianna Malkowski is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic trained nutritionist specializing in diabetes, cancer, wound healing, therapeutic diets and nutrition support. She serves on the board of professional advisers for The CareGiver Partnership and enjoys working with patients and caregivers alike. Ask Dianna a question.


Ryan Donovan said...

High blood pressure can lead to many complications just like diabetes. Its better to consult a expert rather than a medical doctor that has no field of specialization. My grandfather used a drug called cozaar then keeps the blood vessels from narrowing that leads to high blood pressure. The cost of cozaar is very economical, so we are thankful that this drug was available to the market

Unknown said...

It has not always been an easy thing to do, finding the Best Blood Pressure Monitors. In the past many of the monitors that were on sale on the retail market were either not as accurate as you would have liked, or had a price that was far out of the budget of the average person. Thankfully, over time, these two things have come back in to balance.

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