CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — May is High Blood Pressure Education Month. High blood pressure affects nearly 47 percent of the U.S according to the CDC.
Patricia Ramirez has been living with high blood pressure for about five years now, she said it runs in her family.
“It takes a lot out of you when your blood pressure is high and it makes you weak when you don’t take care of yourself,” Ramirez said.
she has changed her health habits since she got the diagnosis and has noticed she has lost a little bit of weight.
“You have to relieve your life of stress and exercise and diet right to make sure it stays down,” she said.
Doctor Nelly Garcia Blow, family medicine and geriatric physician with Amistad Community Health Center said high blood pressure is a “silent killer” because someone can have it for 10 years and not even know they had it.
“The most important thing to remember is you’re not alone,” Garcia Blow said when describing that about half of Americans have high blood pressure.
She said it doesn't just affect adults, doctors are starting to see it in teens and kids.
Being overweight, smoking, adding an excess amount of salt to food, and drinking alcohol can cause someone to have high blood pressure.
“The big things we worry about are stroke and heart disease and so we worry about kidney disease as well and so we see this on a daily basis. This is one of the most common diagnoses that we see in the office,” Garcia Blow said.
She said your blood pressure should be below 120 over 80 and even medications can cause high blood pressure if taken in excess.
“Certain medications that we use as an anti-inflammatory for pain have also been known to elevate the blood pressure,” she said.
You can lower your high blood pressure by exercising and limiting salt, smoking, and drinking alcohol, it can also be genetic. she added.
Victoria Villareal doesn’t have high blood pressure but said her mother suffers from the disease.
She said she’s not afraid she will get it but they have been changing their habits since her diagnosis. “We do some exercises together.”