High Blood Pressure
Early on it is not always easy to notice high blood pressure One may feel great and not realize that changes are occurring in the body These changes may be causing the blood to put too much pressure on the blood vessel walls, making normally stretchy blood vessel material become hardened over time. High blood pressure silently increases stress on the heart, kidneys, and brain and this is why high blood pressure is called the silent killer High blood pressure is a prevalent condition affecting approximately 30 percent of the adult population in the United States. Additionally, the occurrence increases with age. High blood pressure is the most commonly diagnosed condition at outpatient office visits and a major contributing risk factor for heart attack, stroke, chronic kidney disease and heart failure. The great news is that the benefits of early detection and treatment greatly reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular events. Also, one can work at preventing high blood pressure by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, reducing the salt in one’s diet, limiting how much alcohol you drink, reducing stress in your life, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight. So what do the numbers mean? the top blood pressure number measures the force of blood through the vessels during the heartbeat. The bottom blood pressure number represents the force of blood through the vessels between heartbeats. If you have high blood pressure, your primary care provider will establish appropriate targets for you based on your medical conditions. If either the top or the bottom number is too high, action should be taken to seek treatment for this right away. Your provider will help by working with you to find the best treatment plan for you. An annual checkup with a primary care provider is a chance to screen for high blood pressure and other medical conditions. So take that first step and schedule an annual checkup today!