Arlington Blood Pressure Management
Learn More About Your Cardiovascular Health
As blood pumps through your body, it exerts force on the walls of your arteries. This is what blood pressure is. There are two types of blood pressure readings: systolic and diastolic.
- Systolic Blood Pressure – This is the pressure caused by your heart when it contracts and pushes blood out.
- Diastolic Blood Pressure – This is the pressure when your heart relaxes and allows blood to flow in.
You won’t ever “feel” your blood pressure when it is high, but these readings still have a major effect on your body. Normal blood pressure for adults is 120/80 with the top number representing systolic blood pressure and diastolic on the bottom.
High Blood Pressure – What Is It & What Does it Mean?
High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is one of the most common causes of heart disease. The American Heart Association defines high blood pressure as 130 and higher for systolic (the top number) blood pressure, or 80 and higher for diastolic blood pressure. High blood pressure is more common in men under 55 and women who have reached menopause. Your risk of developing hypertension increases as you get older. You are also at higher risk if someone in your family has high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it has no noticeable symptoms.
If you have high blood pressure, you are at higher risk for:
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- Kidney failure
- Vision problems
Make sure to have a blood pressure reading at least once a year when you visit your doctor. If you are concerned about your blood pressure, visit an Urgentology Care clinic today.
Low Blood Pressure
A person is considered to have low blood pressure (hypotension) when their reading is 90/60 or lower. Low blood pressure is less common than high blood pressure partly because the side effects are instantly noticeable. These may include dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness. Low blood pressure is most commonly caused by not drinking enough water. Blood loss and taking too much medication are other possible causes.
Managing Blood Pressure
You can’t change all of your risks for high blood pressure, but there are some things you can control. Try to cut sodium down to 2,300 mg per day. Exercise regularly, most doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity per day (you can break this up into separate 10 or 15-minute segments if it helps). Enroll in a smoking cessation program if you smoke, and cut down alcohol consumption to one drink (12 oz) a day (two, if you’re a man).
If you’d like professional help managing your blood pressure, visit Urgentology Care in Arlington today. We can see you by appointment or you can walk in and tell us what you need.
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