~ Weekly Health Advice From PMGH- High Blood Pressure Explained Part 1 of 3 ~

This week we have focused on high blood pressure to help provide you with an understanding of how it can affect your health. “High Blood Pressure” or HBP is something we often hear about, but is not entirely understood by numerous people. If untreated high blood pressure can have dangerous effects on your health. People who have HBP can take steps to control it and reduce their risk for related health problems.

What is High Blood Pressure?
When your heart beats, it pumps blood around your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) which may lead to health complications. High blood pressure (hypertension) usually does not have symptoms, but can lead to serious health problems if untreated or managed incorrectly. It is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Knowing your blood pressure numbers is important, even when you’re feeling well. If your blood pressure is normal keep working with your doctor and keep it that way. If your blood pressure is too high, treatment may help prevent damage to your body’s organs. It’s important to remember that blood pressure does not stay the same all the time, it changes to meet your body’s needs and is affected by various factors, including body position, breathing, emotional state, exercise, and sleep.

HBP puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels, which can cause them to become weak or damaged. The higher your blood pressure reading, the higher your risk of serious health problems in the future.

High blood pressure can affect your body in many ways:
Your Heart – High blood pressure can cause you to have a heart attack or heart failure.
Your Brain – HBP is a leading cause of strokes and has been closely linked to some forms of dementia.
Your Kidneys – HBP can cause kidney disease.

If you have other health conditions, such as diabetes or high cholesterol, this increases your risk of health problems. Talk to your doctor about regular testing.

TIP – Take any medications exactly as prescribed. Don’t stop or change your medicine, unless your doctor advises you to.