Blood Pressure Awareness Month: Tips to Reducing Blood Pressure
You’re at the doctor‘s office and they ask you to step on the scale, recording your weight. Then you are directed to sit down on a chair, where they wrap your arm with a blood pressure cuff. Within a few seconds, the cuff inflates (either by pumping a squeeze bulb or pushing a button). It feels really tight around your arm and then you hear a noise and the cuff begins to deflate. Once all fully deflated, the nurse or medical assistant reads off a set of numbers. I never know what these numbers mean and usually ask if it’s good or bad. I’ve always heard the word, “good.” But what does it really mean? What do I do if my results aren’t good?
May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month and I honestly didn’t really understand why my blood pressure was taken each time I visit the doctor. I just followed the routine steps of a doctor‘s visit. I learned that a person can have high blood pressure and not even know it. Diagnosing high blood pressure early is important because it can help prevent heart disease, stroke, eye problems, or chronic kidney disease.
Blood pressure readings are usually given as two number. Normal blood pressure is when the top number (systolic blood pressure) is below 120 most of the time. The bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) is below 80 most of the time. Written, it looks like this – 120/80 mmHg. If your blood pressure numbers are 120/80 or greater, but below 140/90, it is called pre-hypertension. With pre-hypertension, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure? High blood pressure (hypertension) is when the top number (systolic blood pressure) is 140 or more most of the time or the bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) is 90 or more most of the time.
In honor of May being High Blood Pressure Education Month, I jumped at the opportunity to share with you some great resources from the American Medical Group Association’s (AMGA) Measure Up/Pressure Down program to help educate us all about the realities and risks of high blood pressure, and how to prevent it. Did you know that one in three U.S. adults (more than 32% of women) have high blood pressure and 20% don’t even know they have it? This costs the nation $47.5 billion annually in direct medical expenses.
Here are some tips on keeping your blood pressure down:
Be sure to follow the Measure Up/Pressure Down program on Facebook (#HBPTips) for more information.
Have you checked your blood pressure lately? What did you learn from this post?
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.