HYPERTENSION: WHAT’S YOUR READING?
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a very common condition that affects 75 million people, or 1 out of every 3 adults in the U.S. (CDC). But what exactly is it? Blood pressure is the measure of how forcefully the blood pushes through your arteries. It’s common for blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day, but when it stays in a consistently elevated place, it is considered hypertension.
Breaking Down the Numbers
That all-too-familiar cuff that tightens on your upper arm at the doctor’s office is what measures blood pressure. Your reading is comprised of two numbers – systolic and diastolic. For example, if your blood pressure is 120/80, 120 (systolic) is the pressure when your heart beats and 80 (diastolic) is the pressure when your heart is resting in between beats.
The American Heart Association has created this handy chart to help decipher your blood pressure reading:
The Effects of Hypertension
Hypertension can be a sneaky ailment that has no symptoms, which means it can go unnoticed for years. Even more reason why regular blood pressure readings are essential, especially if you consume a lot of sodium and processed foods, smoke cigarettes, consume alcohol or lead a sedentary lifestyle. High blood pressure can also result from certain medications, can be linked to other conditions and can even be hereditary.
Left untreated, hypertension can result in life-threatening medical conditions like stroke, heart disease and heart failure.
The Good News
Luckily, once diagnosed, hypertension can be treated with medication and managed well. Anyone who has hypertension also has a lot of power in managing its symptoms, even decreasing high blood pressure over time by implementing lifestyle changes, like:
- Taking medication regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating well-balanced and nutritious meals
- Being physically active
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Having regular conversations with your doctor
Managing hypertension can be done by making healthful choices, and being proactive about measuring your blood pressure. A product like MyTensio allows you to take readings at your convenience, in the comfort of your own home.
With awareness and action, hypertension can certainly be maintained to ensure a healthier and happier lifestyle.