Nursing Teaching Hypertension
Hypertension is a chronic condition that affects an estimated 75 million adults in the United States. It increases the risk of heart attack and stroke by two to four times over what’s considered normal, according to National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The main goal of hypertension treatment is to prevent these serious events from occurring.
1. Explain that diet, exercise, and weight loss are the cornerstone of hypertension management.
- Tell them that high blood pressure is a chronic condition.
- Explain that diet, exercise, and weight loss are the cornerstone of hypertension management.
- High blood pressure affects many systems in your body and can lead to serious health problems if not managed properly.
- Explain that it’s important to avoid salt (sodium) because too much sodium increases blood pressure by making the body hold on to more water than it should. In order for your body to get rid of excess water, it needs to make more urine—which means extra trips to the bathroom! You may want to start by cutting down on prepared foods like fast food burgers or pizza slices for lunch; these foods often contain high amounts of sodium so you should try replacing those items with fresh salads or sandwiches made from whole grains instead.
2. Discuss the importance of staying on a low-sodium diet as part of hypertension therapy.
Sodium is a mineral that is essential for life. It helps maintain water balance in the body and aids in muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission and intestinal absorption of nutrients. Sodium is present in salt (sodium chloride), which is a major source of sodium in the diet. Salt is also found naturally at high levels in some foods like meat, fish and poultry. Other sources of sodium include processed foods such as canned foods and frozen dinners; table salt; condiments such as ketchup or soy sauce; pickles; olives; pizza toppings like pepperoni or sausage; salad dressing made with oil instead of vinegar; baking soda used for baking cookies or cakes rather than baking powder which contains less sodium).
3. Teach the patient how to keep a record of blood pressure, including pulse rate.
Teach the patient how to keep a record of blood pressure, including pulse rate. Instruct the patient in how often to measure blood pressure and how to take a reading. Instruct the patient on how to interpret blood pressure readings. If high blood pressure is present, instruct the patient about what steps he or she should take to reduce it (e.g., dietary modifications).
4. Provide information about the potential side effects of antihypertensive drugs, and alternate medications if necessary.
While antihypertensive drugs are generally safe and effective, they may cause side effects, especially when used over a long period of time. The most common side effects are dizziness, headache and fatigue. If patients experience any of these symptoms, it is important to notify their health care provider so that the treatment can be adjusted accordingly.
In addition to the above-mentioned side effects of antihypertensive drugs in older adults or those with kidney disease, there are some very serious possible complications from medications used to treat high blood pressure such as stroke or heart failure (HF).
5. Monitor for signs and symptoms of hypertensive crisis (eg, neurologic changes, heart failure, pulmonary edema).
- Monitor for signs and symptoms of hypertensive crisis (eg, neurologic changes, heart failure, pulmonary edema).
- If you see these signs:
For patient education resources, see Hypertension and High Blood Pressure Medicine Health Center, as well as Hypertension Center, Cholesterol Center, and Heart Disease Center.
See the following for more information on hypertension and high blood pressure medicine:
- Hypertension and High Blood Pressure Medicine Health Center
- Hypertension Center
- Cholesterol Center
- Heart Disease Center
For more information about hypertension, please visit [website].