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High blood pressure, known medically as hypertension, is known as “the silent killer” for good reason. Silent, because it has no symptoms as it ravages the arteries, the heart, the brain, the kidneys, and even the eyes. A killer, because approximately half of adults with untreated hypertension will die of heart disease, and approximately one-third will die of stroke.

Older adults are at most risk: hypertension is the most common chronic medical condition in seniors, with a whopping 60% currently in treatment.

Why is hypertension dangerous?

Hypertension refers to an increase in the force with which blood flows through the blood vessels. This extra force not only damages the arteries, but also increases the amount of work the heart is forced to do, thus damaging the heart as well.

What are the causes of hypertension?

There are many risk factors for hypertension. Some are uncontrollable, such as a family history of the condition and older age. Other risk factors, however, can be controlled. These include:

  • Smoking, including exposure to secondhand smoke
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Overweight
  • High cholesterol
  • Stress

Certain diseases also increase the risk of hypertension. These include:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

Because you cannot feel the movement of blood through your veins, hypertension has no symptoms. The only way to find out if you have this “silent killer” is to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

Can hypertension be treated?

The answer to this is an emphatic Yes! One of the best ways to treat — and, even better, to avoid — hypertension is to address the risk factors mentioned above. In addition, salt increases blood pressure; reducing sodium intake is a helpful step in controlling hypertension.

If high blood pressure cannot be managed by lifestyle changes, a healthcare provider may recommend one or more blood pressure medications. Someone diagnosed with hypertension should see their healthcare provider monthly until their blood pressure is under good control.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in the most appropriate and patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

Diabetes is a disease that affects the blood, but its complications are not limited to blood-related issues, such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The blood nourishes every cell of the body, and diabetes can disrupt the proper functioning of virtually every organ.

Here are the four most common complications associated with this disease.

1. Heart disease and stroke

A diabetic is nearly twice as likely to die of heart disease or stroke as a nondiabetic. The reason for this is that the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes damage blood vessels and nerves, including the blood vessels of the heart and the nerves that control it. The longer person has diabetes — particularly if the diabetes is out of control — the higher the chances of heart disease.

2. Foot problems

Diabetes reduces circulation. Reduced blood flow means that infections take longer to heal. This is especially true in the farthest extremities: the feet. In some cases, infections do not heal all, leading to gangrene. For this reason, diabetes is the leading cause of lower limb amputation.

3. Kidney disease

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, which affects approximately 24% of adult diabetics. The disease accounts for approximately 60% of all cases of kidney failure.

4. Eye problems

If blood sugar levels are too high, they can cause swelling in the eyes, causing blurred vision. This is a temporary issue, however; it resolves itself once blood sugar levels return to normal. However, if blood sugar levels remain high, more serious and long-term complications, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, can occur. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in diabetics.

While these complications are serious, there is reason for hope. Keeping blood sugar levels under control mitigates much of the damage associated with diabetes. In addition, since both smoking and diabetes affect circulation, diabetics who smoke can improve their health significantly by quitting the habit.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means following our residents’ health carefully, listening to them, and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence — and always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

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