Stronger Houston: Woman who lost more than 100 pounds inspiring others to get ahead of high blood pressure

HOUSTON – Ebony Posada has come a long way.

She’s down 125 pounds from her heaviest, but her drive to get in shape isn’t just about slimming down.

“I’ve watched my mother struggle with so many health issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney failure,” Posada said.

It’s why she spends 5 days a week at House Fit Factory with SwiftTime Fitness certified trainer Nigel Chandler.

“She’s hoping to prevent herself from high blood pressure formally referred to as hypertension, which can lead to organ damage and disease,” Chandler said. “High blood pressure is huge in our community, a lack of resources, a lack of knowledge doesn’t help.”

According to the American Heart Association, 55% of Black adults suffer from high blood pressure which is anything above 120 over 80.

“The heart actually pumps blood throughout the body and the resistance to that pumping is actually what the blood pressure is. So if you have higher resistance that’s a higher pressure” said Dr. Edwin Malone. director of the emergency department at HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest.

While high blood pressure is treatable, Dr. Malone says it’s one of the most common diseases he sees, especially in the emergency department.

“Most of the time it runs in your family, it’s not something you can control that you can expect, that you can feel that’s why so many people don’t know they have high blood pressure until later on,” Dr. Malone said.

High Blood Pressure can affect anyone of any race, but Dr. Malone says there are reasons why it disproportionately impacts Black Americans, a race that has been historically disenfranchised.

“Such as lack of access to care, sometimes distrust in the medical system so often people don’t seek care until much later on and by then they’ve already had the adverse effects of the blood pressure,” Dr. Malone said.

Medical research shows smoking, obesity, poor dietary choices, and high sodium intake can also contribute to high blood pressure along with other conditions such as heart disease and diabetes which are often intertwined.

“The most important thing is actually going to see a doctor so establishing a primary care doctor, going to see anyone really where you can get a blood pressure measurement,” Dr. Malone said.

As for posada, she’s been on top of it.

“No high blood pressure, no diabetes, no nothing, 100 percent healthy,” she said.

September just happens to be Self Care Awareness month, and this Saturday, Sept. 24th, there is a Health is Wealth: Black Wellness Expo happening from 12 to 4 at the Boys and Girls Club on Washington Ave. Everyone is invited and there you can learn about resources for physical and mental health. Click here to purchase tickets.

Certified Personal Trainer Nigel Chandler can be found by searching SwiftTime Fitness on social media.

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