Dr. Dylan: Managing high blood pressure and high cholesterol

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High blood pressure and high cholesterol are very common health conditions which affect nearly 1 in 3 Americans. Dr. Dylan Wyatt, an emergency medicine physician at St. Luke’s, explains, “If uncontrolled, both of these conditions carry an increased risk of developing heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, kidney disease and even dementia.”

“Blood pressure measures how much pressure out blood puts on our arteries. It’s a pair of numbers. The top number, Systolic, measures the pressure on our arteries when our heart beats, and the bottom number, Diastolic, measures the pressure on our arteries between heart beats.”

“Everyone has fats in their bloodstream in the form of cholesterol – which performs many important functions for your body but can be dangerous if out of balance.”

There are three types of cholesterol:

  1. LDL, or bad cholesterol
  2. HDL, good cholesterol
  3. Triglycerides, a fat in the blood used for energy

Dr. Dylan says LDL and triglycerides being too high and HDL being too low can had adverse health effects.

Since there is overlap in managing these conditions, Dr. Dylan shares 4 ways to manage both high cholesterol and high blood pressure:

  1. Don’t smoke, or stop smoking
  2. Eat a healthy diet by putting a focus on vegetables and fruits
  3. Get 30 minutes of exercise a day at least five days a week
  4. Take prescription medications and see a primary care provider