Hypertension Management at SCF

Exercise Physiologist Kaila Hawley demonstrates healthy exercises at Lose to Win.

Alaska Native and American Indian people experience a higher risk for heart disease and related complications than any other racial group in the United States. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition that puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. Many people have high blood pressure and don’t even know it. Hypertension has many risk factors such as age, race, family history, unhealthy weight, lack of physical activity, tobacco, diet, and stress.

The goal of hypertension treatment is to lower blood pressure and protect important organs, like the brain, heart, and kidneys from damage. To prevent high blood pressure, Southcentral Foundation encourages customer-owners to make lifestyle modifications. Changing your lifestyle can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure. Your provider may recommend you make lifestyle changes such as eating a healthier diet with less salt, quitting smoking, and doing at least 30 minutes of activity a day. To learn if you have high blood pressure, have your blood pressure checked by your provider or use an at home test.

At SCF, there are many programs and services available to help support hypertension management. One option is the Lose to Win program offered by Health Education. Lose to Win is an evidenced-based weight management program that focuses on healthy lifestyle changes. The primary goal of Lose to Win is to help improve individual overall health. It can also guide customer-owners maintain a healthy weight. Lose to Win provides essential tools needed to help reach your weight loss goal and keep it off. Participants who meet their goals can also win an array of healthy incentives. Health educators, dietitians, exercise physiologists, and behavioral health consultants facilitate this program. Lose to Win also features health coaching to support and guide participants along the way. Additionally, Health Education offers monthly wellness activities and classes.

Reacting to stress in unhealthy ways, for example, smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating unhealthy foods, can increase your risk of high blood pressure. Behavioral Services and Family Wellness Warriors Initiative offer many learning circles on campus at various times that address how to deal with stress. The Relaxation and Stress Reduction/Mindfulness Learning Circle offers new skills to reduce the impact of stress in your life and addresses signs and symptoms of stress before it becomes a problem using relaxation techniques. This is just one of the many educational and supportive learning circles offered at SCF.

To learn more about hypertension and the services offered at SCF, schedule an appointment with your provider, or visit southcentralfoundation.com.

by Tiana Taylor

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