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It is when the force that the blood exerts against the blood vessel wall is too high. It is also called hypertension.
It is measured by using a cuff that goes around the upper arm and a mercury column or pressure dial. As the cuff is filled with air, it tightens around the arm and blocks the flow of blood through the main artery. As the air is slowly released from the cuff, the person taking the blood pressure listens to the blood as it flows back into the artery. One sound is the highest force against the blood vessel walls and is called systolic pressure. The second or lower number is the lower force against the blood vessel wall and is called diastolic pressure.
The systolic pressure is written first, then a /, then the diastolic pressure, e.g. 120/85.
Everyone’s blood pressure varies during the day. It also rises slowly as we get older. The normal blood pressure should be less than 140/90.
High blood pressure has been called the “silent disease” because many times there are no symptoms. That is why it is so dangerous. It can often go undetected or untreated.
Most persons do not have an exact cause for their high blood pressure. This common type of hypertension is called primary or essential. In a small number of persons a cause such as kidney disease can be found. This type is known as secondary hypertension.
These factors make it more likely that you will get high blood pressure:
1. If there is a family history of high blood pressure at an early age.
2. If you smoke cigarettes
3. If you are overweight
Yes, if not properly treated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and kidney damage.
Your doctor to reduce blood pressure can prescribe drugs. Often it may require more then one drug to control blood pressure. It is very important that you always take your drugs just as prescribed. Never increase, decrease, or stop your medicine without your doctor’s advice.
You can do the following things to help control your high blood pressure:
1. If you smoke, stop smoking.
2. Avoid excess salt in your food.
3. Do not use alcohol to excess.
4. If you’re overweight, lose weight (as directed by your doctor).
5. Get regular exercise.
It is possible that you will always have to take drugs for your high blood pressure. It is also important that you see your doctor regularly because your treatment may need to be changed at various times.
Belle aimee Medspa
Greater Hampstead Family Medicine P.C.