High blood pressure has long term effects on your heart, brain, and kidneys. It also has an effect on your overall health and wellbeing.
Patients who have diagnosed high blood pressure also need to be aware of uncontrolled blood pressure as this can cause strokes and heart attacks.
A normal blood pressure is a systolic (top number) less than 120 and a diastolic (bottom number) less than 80. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology has now defined high blood pressure as greater than 130/80. While medications may not be needed right away to treat your high blood pressure, the earlier you are aware of this diagnosis the better. Certain lifestyle changes can be made to treat your high blood pressure and potentially avoid medications.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure it is important to monitor your blood pressure at home. We recommend patients to either buy a blood pressure cuff and write down the numbers so they can review it with their doctor. Another option is to enroll in a “Remote Patient Monitoring” program so that your doctor can see your numbers instantly and regularly check if adjustments need to be made. AFP Health currently offers “Remote Patient Monitoring” for Medicare patients.
In our next post we will be discussing how to manage your blood pressure including non prescription medication options.