HOW IS BLOOD PRESSURE MEASURED?
Your blood pressure reading appears as two numbers. The higher number is your systolic pressure. This is the force in the arteries when your heart beats. The second number is your diastolic pressure, the pressure in your arteries in while the heart rests in between in beat.
Although it’s very natural for your blood pressure to rise and fall during physical activities and during any emotional stimulation, during a period of rest for healthy adults the blood pressure should be at about 120/80.
If your blood pressure reading is 130/80 or higher on more than one occasion during a period of rest you may have high blood pressure.
If your blood pressure reads 180/120 or higher, seek immediate medical attention.
WHO CAN GET HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
High blood pressure is much more likely to develop in people with a family history of high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, but can also be caused by many other factors.
High blood pressure is also common in individuals who are:
- Overweight or obese
- Excessive alcohol drinkers
- Older than 45
- African Americans
- Pregnant woman
- Taking birth control pills
- Eating excessive amounts of fatty foods and foods high in salt
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IS LEFT UNTREATED?
High blood pressure is commonly known as the “silent killer” because it rarely shows any signs or symptoms. Because of this, many people don’t realize they have already developed high blood pressure, and many times don’t find out until it’s too late.
When high blood pressure is left untreated, it can cause several serious problems such as:
- Vision problems
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
HOW CAN I REDUCE MY RISK OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
Although high blood pressure can run in families, fortunately, it can be controlled and is one of the most preventable diseases.
The first step to preventing and taking control of your blood pressure is to schedule a physical exam and review your family medical history with your provider.
Together, we can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and many other serious illnesses by creating healthy lifestyle habits that include:
- Eating a balanced diet of whole natural foods
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- Limiting salty foods
- Limiting alcohol
- Monitoring your blood pressure
Do you have high blood pressure or have a family history of hypertension? Give us a call to schedule your next physical exam or book your appointment with us online.