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

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. If you missed our tips on how to lower your blood pressure please scroll down the page or let us know and we will repost it for you.

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.

Measuring Blood Pressure –
Blood pressure is usually measured by wrapping an inflatable pressure cuff around your upper arm. This cuff is part of a machine called a sphygmomanometer. It is best to measure blood pressure when you are relaxed and sitting. If a reading is high, your doctor may measure your blood pressure again on several separate occasions to confirm the level.

Every blood pressure reading consists of two numbers or levels. The first number is your systolic blood pressure. It is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats. The second number is your diastolic blood pressure. It is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.

While Blood Pressure can change from minute to minute with changes in posture, exercise, stress or sleep, it should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg (less than 120 systolic AND less than 80 diastolic) for an adult aged 20 or over.

Medications for High Blood Pressure –
There is a variety of medicines available to lower and manage HBP. These medications do not cure it, but they do help manage it. If you need to take medication, your doctor will advise you on the correct type and dose.

Make sure that you take your medicines regularly. Some things that may help you remember to take them include:
– Taking them at the same time each day
– Using a weekly pill box
– Marking the time on a calendar or asking family and friends to remind you

Regular Blood Pressure Checks –
If your blood pressure is ‘normal’, and you have no risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and no personal or family history of high blood pressure, you should still have a check every two years as well as during routine visits to your doctor. If your blood pressure is ‘high–normal’ (or higher), or if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack, it is best to have it checked more frequently.

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