Blood Pressure Management: How Important Are The "Good" Numbers?

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Blood Pressure Management: How Important Are The "Good" Numbers?

Blood Pressure Management: How Important Are The "Good" Numbers?

By Jean Bowick

It often goes without symptoms. But it’s a condition with which millions of Americans suffer – often unknowingly – and a contributor to the number-one killer in the United States.

The culprit? High blood pressure. The killer? Heart disease.

These “labels” have become so common these days, they sound almost as innocuous as poison ivy. But high blood pressure alone is an insidious disease – deadly, but with solid, selective company, plenty of friends – and if left unchecked, potentially disastrous results.

Clinically known as hypertension, “high blood pressure” seems a little more "normal-life," a little less "death-on-a-stick." But that’s because of its sneaky familiarity – the enemy you know, ya know? Almost 100 million Americans suffer from this condition, which, without proper defenses, can wreak havoc on your circulatory system – specifically, your blood, and beyond that, your life expectancy.

Blood pressures that register above 120/80 (systolic/diastolic) are higher than normal, and depending on surrounding key factors, may require professional – and immediate – medical treatment. If untreated, damage to the blood vessel walls caused by hypertension could result in heart failure, heart attack, stroke, angina, kidney disease, sexual dysfunction, vision loss, and/or atherosclerosis – clogging or narrowing, of the arteries.

Thankfully, high blood pressure can be monitored, measured, and improved with proper medication and vital lifestyle changes, including:

  • Regular check-ups
  • Weight loss
  • Healthy, low-sodium diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Alcohol moderation
  • Quitting smoking
  • Professionally administered medications

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham also offers a top-notch Blood Pressure Management program. Participants meet with Healthy Heart Ambassadors regularly to monitor their blood pressure and develop an ongoing wellness plan, and benefit from the help of regular, healthy nutrition seminars.

If you are at least 18 years of age and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you could qualify for the Y’s extensive, four-month Blood Pressure Management Program! To enroll in our program, or simply find out more information, contact Keesha Nelson at (205) 516-8774, or visitymcabham.org/blood-pressure-management.

To learn more about the importance of monitoring and maintaining regular, healthy blood pressure levels, visit the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org.  #HeartStrong   #LiveLong  #YStrongBham

Posted by Loyd McIntosh at 12:47 PM
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