High Blood Pressure
AKA the Silent Killer
What exactly is blood pressure?
Systolic blood pressure (the first number) – The pressure your blood is exerting against the walls of your artery when the heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure (the second or bottom number) – The pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
What is normal blood pressure?
Top number 119 or below and bottom number 79 or below.
What is high blood pressure?
Top number of 130 or above and/or bottom number of 80 or above.
Why care about your blood pressure?
Higher blood pressure increases risk of…
Heart attack (pipe issue - clogged arteries) Heart failure (pump issue) Stroke Kidney Disease Peripheral arterial disease Aneurysm
Why is it called the silent killer?
Typically there are no symptoms to high blood pressure, and unfortunately there are possible complications to high blood pressure that can be very serious.
Can I track my BP at home?
Yes, one option is an Omron BP monitor.
As with many things in medicine, we don't want to jump to pills if we don't have to. The first treatment is typically lifestyle changes that may include. - Weight loss (if you are overweight) - Choose a diet low in salt, rich in fruits and vegetables - Do something active for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week - Reduce how much alcohol you drink - Stop smoking
When do we use medicine?
Typically when BP >140 or >90 consistently even after making lifestyle changes.