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The Importance of Detecting and Controlling High Blood Pressure

The Importance of Detecting and Controlling High Blood Pressure

As cardiovascular experts, Dr. James Kim and our team feel that we should pay attention to our heart health every month. That said, February is American Heart Month in the United States, and we want to do our part to address a very important, and common, issue — hypertension.

Almost half of adults in the US — 116 million — have high blood pressure, which places them at far greater risk for some incredibly serious, and life-threatening, health issues.

In this month’s blog post, we’re taking a closer look at hypertension — how to detect it and, more importantly, how to bring your blood pressure numbers down.

Why high blood pressure is dangerous

Let’s first get to the meat of the conversation — why we’re so concerned about high blood pressure. When we talk about blood pressure, we're referring to the pressure that your blood is placing on the walls of your arteries. 

Your blood pressure reading contains two numbers:

  1. Systolic: The pressure on your arteries during a heartbeat
  2. Diastolic: The arterial pressure between heartbeats

If these numbers are higher than 130/80, we consider this to be high blood pressure.

We consider this problematic because the extra pressure on your arterial walls damages the blood vessels and also forces your heart to work harder. In turn, this leaves you at far greater risk for very serious complications, including:

Hypertension can also lead to quality-of-life issues, such as sexual dysfunction.

A silent killer

Hypertension has earned its moniker of the “silent killer” because there are generally no symptoms when your blood pressure is high. In fact, some people only learn of the problem after something serious happens, such as a heart attack or stroke.

While you may not be able to detect when you have high blood pressure through symptoms, we can easily identify the problem with a quick and painless blood pressure reading. 

Measuring your blood pressure is incredibly simple, and you can even do it at home with a blood pressure cuff or have it measured at your local pharmacy. In other words, you don’t even have to schedule an appointment with a doctor for this simple — but terribly important — test.

Reversing the course of your health

The reason why regularly testing your blood pressure is so critical is because you can reverse the course of your health by lowering your blood pressure. 

Consider this — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 80% of premature heart disease and strokes are preventable, and one of the most important preventive steps is lowering your blood pressure.

A typical road to lowering blood pressure includes:

In making these changes, you can not only lower your blood pressure, but improve almost every other area of your health.

If you want to take charge of your heart health, the first step is knowing when there’s a problem. 

To figure out whether your blood pressure is problematic, and the steps to take if it is, we urge you to contact us at one of our offices in Chula Vista or National City, California, to schedule an appointment.

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