What is blood pressure? How are high blood pressure and low blood pressure diagnosed? How can you prevent high blood pressure monitor?
The number of people who monitor their blood pressure regularly has risen substantially in recent years, but many people still don’t realize that it’s important to do so. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure without knowing it and are therefore at risk of heart attack or stroke if left untreated. If you are interested in monitoring your blood pressure yourself at home, one of the easiest ways to do so is with a simple blood pressure monitor, like this one from iHealth Labs.
You can control it
Having normal blood pressure is one of several ways to stay healthy. Keep in mind that high blood pressure (also called hypertension) can lead to stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure—among other serious health problems. This makes it important to keep tabs on your blood pressure at least once a month and even more often if you have other risk factors such as being overweight or a smoker.
The earlier the better
Like cholesterol, high blood pressure can be a silent killer. High blood pressure is more common than you think—and typically presents with no symptoms. Without proper monitoring and care, it can lead to strokes and heart attacks down the road. If you have high blood pressure but haven’t had it checked recently, ask your doctor about getting checked right away.
It’s less expensive
The average annual cost of health care per person in America is $8,102, according to a study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. If you’re using multiple blood pressure medications and seeing multiple doctors regularly to monitor your disease, it could be much more expensive than that. By tracking your blood pressure with a home device—which can run as little as $20—you save money on copays and medical appointments.
There are lifestyle changes you can make
Incorporate more water into your daily routine by carrying a reusable water bottle and filling it up throughout your day. If you’re eating out, ask for no salt on your food. Get in touch with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Above all, monitor your blood pressure to keep yourself healthy!
Watch for signs and symptoms in others too
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, which is why more than one-third of people with hypertension aren’t aware that they have it. Often called the silent killer, high blood pressure can damage your heart and other organs without causing symptoms such as dizziness or chest pain. In fact, over time, high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Know your normal numbers
Take your blood pressure twice a day. For many people, normal blood pressure is anything under 120/80 mm Hg (120 over 80). If you have high blood pressure, try to get it down to below 140/90 mm Hg. If you’re dealing with prehypertension or borderline hypertension, aim for below 130/80 mm Hg.
Have an idea of how to react if you get bad news
Sure, it’s easy to say that you won’t let a high blood pressure reading throw you into a tailspin, but what if your current medication doesn’t seem to be working and your doctor suggests doubling up on tablets? Or suppose that he asks you to start taking another drug as well? Would you be able to react with equanimity or would you panic?
Find an easy way to track it regularly
You should take your blood pressure regularly, and check it at least once a week. To find an easy way to track it, you’ll want to get a simple blood pressure monitor that will check your vital signs without much hassle. As long as you use one of these each week, you’ll be able to spot potential issues before they become full-blown problems.
Stay committed—it works!
If you’re serious about changing your health, monitoring your blood pressure can be a great help. It allows you to track whether or not something you’ve done (or haven’t done) has a positive or negative effect on your body. If you see no change in your blood pressure after attempting to reduce stress, kick up your physical activity, eat more leafy greens, etc., it may be time to try something else! As we say here at American Diagnostics, staying committed is key!