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Obesity and High Blood Pressure

Posted on January 26, 2016 at 1:24 PM by Iowa Weight Loss Specialists

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects 1 in every 4 adults and increases the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke.

Many factors contribute to developing high blood pressure. Some of these include smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, consuming a diet high in sodium, and having a family history of hypertension. Obesity is another major contributing factor that significantly increases a person’s risk of developing high blood pressure.

The Framingham Heart Study, a famous study over 44 years, estimated that excess body weight (including overweight and obesity), accounted for approximately 26 percent of cases of hypertension in men and 28 percent in women. In addition, approximately 23 percent of cases of coronary heart disease in men and 15 percent in women are related to excess body weight. Obese individuals have an increase in fatty tissue that increases their vascular resistance and in turn, increases the work the heart has to do to pump blood throughout the body.

Nearly one-third of individuals with high blood pressure do not know they have it. Regular check-ups and a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to help detect and hopefully alleviate high blood pressure. If you have family members that have been affected, it’s even more important that you have your blood pressure checked out.

Symptoms of high blood pressure may include:

  • Severe headache
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears

Blood pressure medication is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure. For those that may be overweight or obese, losing their excess weight can also help lower blood pressure and may even eliminate the need for medications.

Many of our patients at Iowa Weight Loss Specialists come to us with a diagnosis of hypertension. We’re proud to say that after having weight loss surgery, several of those patients have been taken off their high blood pressure medications, most within a month of having surgery.

I’m no longer taking my high blood pressure medication, my sleep apnea went away after I lost so much weight, and I can easily walk and workout daily,” commented one of our patients (Pearce Powers) who had weight loss surgery in August 2014 and lost 135 pounds to reach his goal weight of 195 pounds. Pearce is excited about his new healthy lifestyle, commenting, “It’s so much easier (and more fun) to go to the gym and work out!

If you have been diagnosed with hypertension and are overweight or obese, our weight loss programs can help you. Our Medical Weight Loss program is a non-surgical weight loss solution that focuses on diet, exercise, and other weight-related factors. Our gastric sleeve weight loss surgery is also an effective, long-term solution to reducing or eliminating excess weight and long-term health concerns.

If you are interested in weight loss solutions, contact us for more information or register for one of our free informational classes!


Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Resource Center

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