Checking your blood pressure is important, and I’m sharing how checking your blood pressure can save your life. This post has been sponsored by America Heart Association. This post may contain affiliate links. No purchase is necessary.
High blood pressure, if left untreated, can have devastating effects on your body. Vision loss, heart attacks, and deadly aneurysms are just a few of complications of high blood pressure. But many people who have high blood pressure and don’t even know it. I know I didn’t, and it nearly cost me my life. This is because, for most people with high blood pressure, there are no signs or symptoms, even when their blood pressure is dangerously high.
I remember laying in bed around 3 a.m. the morning of The Motivated Mom Retreat. I kept tossing and turning, not able to get comfortable. It wasn’t until I felt my left arm going numb, pain in my shoulder and my arm started tingling did I realize something could be wrong. I grabbed my blood pressure wrist monitor to find my blood pressure at 197/154; I was at risk of a stroke. I found the nearest Urgent Care and admitted for testing. After being released, I knew I needed to make changes for this scare not to happen again. Those changes included exercise, watching what I eat, asking for help from others, and speaking with my doctor about additional steps to keep my blood pressure under control.
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month; please have your blood pressure checked and learn your risk by using AHA’s interactive blood pressure chart at www.heart.org/bplevels.
A small portion of society will experience headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds. But these usually don’t occur until your high blood pressure is life-threatening if they do at all. For most people, it is a silent killer. But, there are several risk factors you should know about because it may just save your life.
- Race: It is common for people of African heritage to develop high blood pressure. Complications from it are typically more serious and come at a younger age as well.
- Family History: If high blood pressure is known to be something that runs in your family, you’re likely to get it too.
- Stress: While high levels of stress will raise your blood pressure temporarily, it is the things you might be doing to relax from that stress that is the real concern. Things like stress eating, drinking alcohol or smoking.
- Certain Chronic Health Conditions: Conditions like diabetes, sleep apnea, and kidney disease will give you an increased risk of having high blood pressure.
If any of the risk factors list above are something you can identify with, you should have your blood pressure checked right away. Be reassured that studies show that those who check their blood pressure more often are more likely to keep their blood pressure at a healthy level. See a doctor and get it checked or many stores and pharmacies offer blood pressure checks for a small fee and sometimes they’re completely free.
If you have high blood pressure, remember to take your medication properly even if it means taking it every day.
Take simple steps to control your numbers.
- Kickstart a new healthy habit – move more (find a physical activity you enjoy),
- Eat smart (strive to eat a well-balanced low salt diet, limit alcohol)
- Be well (manage stress, practice mindfulness)
The information in this article was obtained from the American Heart Association. I am not a doctor by any means, so please, if you have any questions, seek a medical professional.