Your blood pressure reading is like a canary in a coal mine. Because high blood pressure often has no symptoms, the only way you’ll know you need help is to get a blood pressure reading, which is measured using two numbers. The first number — systolic blood pressure – measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The second number — diastolic blood pressure — measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats. The normal range is less than 120/80. Consider purchasing an at home digital blood pressure monitor to regularly check your blood pressure.
Here are the top six reasons to get your blood pressure checked
1. Your arteries
High blood pressure can stiffen and narrow your arteries, limiting the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart. This can lead to heart disease, chest pain (angina), and even an aneurysm. Consider improving your blood flow by getting your body moving. Exercising muscles need more blood.
2. Your heart
High blood pressure stresses your heart, increasing the risk of heart attack or even sudden cardiac death. Love your heart by reducing sodium in your diet and instead add herbs and spices for flavor.
3. Your brain
When high blood pressure causes the blood vessels in the brain to narrow, leak, or rupture, this can cause a transient ischemic attack (TIA), a stroke or vascular dementia. Studies suggest that high blood pressure can even lead to mild cognitive impairment. Relieve strain on your brain by eating well, getting 30 minutes of movement a day, and getting enough quality sleep each night.
4. Your kidneys
Tiny blood vessels in this organ get scarred by high blood pressure, affecting your kidneys’ ability to filter fluid and waste from the blood. Too much waste build-up can lead to kidney failure. Help your kidneys be most effective by drinking water to stay hydrated.
5. Your vision
High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the retina, causing bleeding, blurred vision, and even blindness. Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing vision impairment.
6. Your overall health and wellbeing
Because uncontrolled high blood pressure has a cumulative effect, it is important to check your blood pressure early and often and speak with your doctor.
If you’re looking for more tips to manage high blood pressure, we cover this in a previous blog post.
Looking for support to reach a health goal?
Call to connect with Aspire Health’s local, dedicated health coaches at (831) 644-7490. This service is available to Aspire Health Medicare Advantage plan members at no cost to help support your health and wellbeing. Also, be sure to discuss your goals with your doctor at your next appointment.