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Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure is the measurement of force applied to the arteries to push blood throughout the body. The heart is responsible for generating this force needed to continue pumping the blood. Having high blood pressure (HBP) not only puts stress on the heart but also can affect the lungs, brain, kidneys, and the blood vessels. A normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. Any consistent measurements higher than the norm is called hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Risk Factors:

  • Age
  • Race – African Americans are more likely than any other race to be have HBP
  • Family history
  • Little or no exercise
  • Smoking
  • High amounts of salt in the diet – those with HBP should intake less than 1500mg daily
  • Little or no potassium in the diet
  • Little or no vitamin D in the diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Stress
  • High cholesterol

There are many risk factors that are linked to being diagnosed with HBP. By changing your diet or lifestyle, you can limit your risk for hypertension. Keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range can ensure that your risk is reduced for heart attack, stroke, kidney and/or heart failure.

For those who have already been diagnosed by a physician with HBP, it is very important to not only diligently take any medications he/she has prescribed you, but to also change your lifestyle. Lifestyle changes such as creating a more healthier diet, exercising on a consistent basis, stopping or decreasing smoking or excessive drinking can help immensely in keeping your blood pressure within a manageable state.  HBP can permanently damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and your brain. Having uncontrolled or poorly controlled blood pressure can cause a number of harmful dangers to your body without you even knowing before it is too late.

Knowing your blood pressure is very important, those with HBP especially, should have a home device and be capable to test their blood pressure daily. Blood pressure machines are readily available at all pharmacies with some offering free blood pressure readings. The process is very simple and the machines are easy to use. For more information on blood pressure machines, such as how to use or how to prepare, please feel free to speak with one of our pharmacists.

References: 
Dugdale, David C. “Blood Pressure Measurement.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institute of Health. 20 June 2011. Web. 18 July 2012.
 
“Blood Pressure Testing and Measurement.” Lexicomp. Sept. 2011. Web. 18 July 2012.
 
“What Is High Blood Pressure.” American Heart Association. 4 April 2012. Web. 15 July 2012.
 
“High blood pressure (hypertension).” MayoClinic. 24 Jan. 2012. Web. 14 July 2012.


Lowering Blood Pressure

  No Pressure…. But Let’s Lower your Blood Pressure!   If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your heart is working overtime. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure not only raises the risk of heart disease. It also increases risks to your arteries, brain, kidneys, and eyes.1 Blood pressure measurements give you two …

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