Being a member of a support group can help a patient realize that he or she is not alone, and that many others share the same problems.
Members can help each other in terms of suggesting ways to address issues and reduce stress and anxiety – especially important considering the impact these factors have on high blood pressure. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure you will no doubt be urged to make lifestyle changes including stopping smoking, losing weight and exercising more. A support group can be an important aid to achieving these changes- changes that can make all the difference to controlling and reducing hypertension and living a longer, healthier life.
Learning to develop effective coping skills is another important way support groups can help. It can be difficult to come to terms with the fact you have hypertension, yet by witnessing others’ experiences of how they’ve overcome obstacles, it can enable you to become more assertive when it comes to getting answers and gaining a better understanding of how to control your condition.
What kind of support groups are available?
Local support groups vary in terms of how often they meet, their focus and who runs them. Some are run by charities, and there are many patient support groups started by individuals. Meetings can take place anywhere from a church hall, to a community building and health center.
Ask your health care practitioner or doctor for assistance in finding a local support group. If you are house-bound or have limited free time then there are a variety of online resources that can help.
The national organization devoted to hypertension, the American Society of Hypertension has an online forum where you can catch all the latest news and share online resources. They run events where people with hypertension can get together in the community and network. The American Heart Association is another organization which provides help and support to those suffering from hypertension. You can sign up for their monthly newsletter and get health updates, as well as find out the latest news on blood pressure treatment and programs. Heart360̊ is a site where you can log on and track your health and cardiovascular wellness. Easy to use tools allow you to track the factors which affect your heart health including blood pressure, weight, medications and physical activity.
The American Stroke Association is another organization dedicated to helping people with cardiovascular problems. The site features various tools including My Life Check where you can determine your health care needs and create an action plan, a Family Tree History tool where you can learn how your family history can affect your health and a Power Fitness Challenge tool.
These types of online support groups can also be very helpful for discussing how you manage your hypertension and evaluate treatments. Medwonders is another good example of an online support group for people with hypertension, with tips and advice for those trying to combat the condition.
Work with your medical team to keep blood pressure regulated
It’s also essential to work together with your doctor and medical practitioners to manage your blood pressure effectively. Your doctor will probably have been the one who has diagnosedyour condition in the first place and they will be armed with all the relevant information about you and your medications. By utilizing all the hypertension support and working with your medical team you have every chance of keeping your high blood pressure well maintained.
RESPeRATE is the only non-drug therapy cleared by the FDA for the treatment of high blood pressure and the reduction of stress. It is the first medical device that has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure.