Managing Hypertension During the Holidays
The busiest time of year has arrived, and daily routines are often shaken up. While this change in routine can be refreshing, it can also be a concern for those monitoring medical conditions like hypertension and heart disease.
Cooler weather often causes a spike in the number of cold and flu cases, but you want to be careful when selecting remedies. Some cold and flu medications can raise blood pressure and decrease the effectiveness of some prescribed blood pressure and heart disease medicines.
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If you have severe hypertension or heart disease, it’s best to avoid cold and flu medications that have decongestants and ask your doctor about alternative therapies.
According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, there’s about a 4 percent increase in heart-related deaths during the holidays, including heart attacks and strokes.
Despite being off your daily work routine, or travel, or any number of disruptions, it’s really important to keep track of and stay on schedule with yours medications as well as your exercise regimens.
The holidays are known for family, fun and FOOD! However, don’t let your holiday eating habits place your health in jeopardy. Sodium levels are high in typical holiday foods, such as breads, cheeses, and prepared meats, which can all raise your blood pressure and cause fluid retention in those at risk for heart failure.
Balancing these small indulgences with more frequent healthy meals is key, as well as staying active. Spend some family time by walking to restaurants instead of driving, or going for a bike ride or walk in the park, which is especially important if your regular exercise routine becomes somewhat interrupted.