Local doctor says changing lifestyle can lower blood pressure


MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Millions of americans will now be diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Chief of Cardiac Surgery Dr. Norman Hetzler works at Coliseum Medical Centers. He says, “If you take the raw numbers right now with the new recommendations, about half of the United States needs to be on blood pressure medicines.”

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Health experts released new guidelines on Monday stating anyone with blood pressure higher than 130/80 will be considered to have hypertension or high blood pressure.

Hetzler says, “Males below the age of 50, females below the age of 60 were closely relatively to have a heart attack or stroke. Or if someone has diabetes, then they should look at these guidelines a little closer.”

High blood pressure is known as a ‘silent killer.’ Many drugs are used to treat blood pressure, however doctors say monitoring your blood pressure can reduce health problems or even death.

“Quiet often there aren’t any symptoms until something happens. People may get a little headache, people may get a little bit of dizziness but that’s pretty rare,” Hetzler continues.

Dr.Hetzler recommends americans watch their diet and exercise. Even people with normal blood pressure should take caution.

He explains, “Try to look for more healthy eating habits less salt, less saturated fats. I tell all of my patients look closer to the farm you get the better. The less process junk you eat the less high fructose corn syrup the better off for you. Exercise– walking two miles a day. That’s continuous, that’s not getting up from your chair in front of the football game to go get a burrito and come back.”

Doctors say be sure to add healthier foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, squash and spinach to your diet. Heart experts at the American Heart Association say fewer people die if high blood pressure is treated ahead of time.