Your blood and its pressure affects every aspect of your health. Below, read expert insights from a Renown heart specialist about why blood pressure is important and how to prevent dangerously high blood pressure.
Blood is life. And when your heart has to work harder to pump your blood, this can have negative effects on your life and health.
According to the American Heart & Stroke Association, about 80 million adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, and managing high blood pressure is the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk for a stroke or heart attack.
So what is blood pressure exactly, and why is it an important indicator of your health? Read on to learn more from Christopher J. Rowan, MD, a doctor with Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health.
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against your artery walls as your heart pumps. Your blood pressure should normally be below 120/80 mm Hg (mm Hg stands for millimeters of mercury).
How Do You Know If You Have High Blood Pressure?
“The symptoms of high blood pressure can be very insidious,” Dr. Rowan explains. “The most commonly reported symptom before it is discovered is very simply daytime fatigue. People can occasionally get headaches and lightheadedness. However most people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms at all. There is no one outward sign people have that is reliable for diagnosing blood pressure problems, which is why it’s called ‘the silent killer.’”
Why Is It Essential To Keep Your Blood Pressure In The Normal Range?
“It’s important to keep your blood pressure within the normal range because of the complications high blood pressure can have over time,” Dr. Rowan says. “Having untreated high blood pressure is a risk factor for developing kidney failure (which will need dialysis), a stroke, heart attack, heart failure and vision problems, just to name a few complications.”
How can I prevent high blood pressure?
“There are a number of causes of high blood pressure; however it’s most commonly caused by simply increasing age,” Dr. Rowan says. “To prevent high blood pressure, follow a healthy lifestyle by eating a low-salt diet, avoiding fatty and fried foods.
“If you have a risk factor for high blood pressure, which can include diabetes and high cholesterol, getting these risk factors under control can prevent high blood pressure,” he adds. “Some people don’t realize that weight loss alone can prevent high blood pressure.”
If you need more information on heart care, call 775-982-2400. For information on stroke care, call 775-982-2948. If you need help controlling your weight, check out Renown Health’s series of Weight Management classes, or call 775-982-5073.