As a peaceful warrior, I would choose when, where and how I would behave.
With that commitment, I began to live the life of a warrior.
~Dan Millman

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Know Your Numbers

Awareness is key. You can check your bp in almost any pharmacy for no cost. It's worth knowing where you stand :-) ~j

Your doctor may have told you that your blood pressure is too high. Maybe put you on a medication to help reduce it, or simply told you to reduce the stress in your life. No matter what you are doing to manage your blood pressure, it's important to know where you stand and what levels of blood pressure are considered optimal.

Both of your numbers (systolic and diastolic) do matter. For optimal health, you want both numbers to be within a certain range. If one number is high and the other is considered healthy, you still have high blood pressure and its associated risks. Remember that systolic blood pressure is the top number and diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number in your ratio (i.e. 120/80).The following chart will help you recognize the differences between optimal and high (hypertensive) blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Categories for Adults (measured in mm Hg)

Category Systolic
Optimal <> and <>
Normal <> and <>
High-Normal 130-139 or 85-89
High (Stage 1) 140-159 or 90-99
High (Stage 2) 160-179 or 100-109
High (Stage 3) > 180 or > 110

Only a medical professional can truly assess your risk and provide proper diagnosis and medical advice. To lower your blood pressure, talk to your doctor first. Together you can start a treatment plan that will probably include lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes and exercise, stress reduction.

No matter where you lie on the chart above, you may find it comforting to know that even small reductions in blood pressure can have a big impact on your health. Lowering your blood pressure by just 12 to 13 points can lower your risk of heart attack by 20 percent; stroke by 37 percent and cardiovascular death by 25 percent.


JeffO said...

My blood pressure has always been low. It stopped rising when I turned 17, or so.
Then several years ago, it went up and leveled off. This was when I started ultra-running, so it didn't make sense.
Turns out I had an abscessed tooth and the infection filled my lower jaw. I never felt a thing!
A regular dental cleaning and checkup triggered the booby-trap. The infection grew explosively and in days it almost killed me. My throat was swelling shut and the blood poisoning was getting into my brain. I needed oral surgery.
Now my blood pressure is the same as it used to be.

An unusual spike in blood-pressure should be checked out. Even with check-ups mine was too strange for any doctor to find, but usually proper tests will point to the cause.

jgirl said...

Nice testimonial Jeff.

So amazing how our body gives us signs. We just have to know to listen.

Thanks for sharing. This is important stuff because most of us are out there would never happen to me...