I wish high blood pressure caused pain. Not much pain, just enough to compel patients to seek help and to be compliant with medication.
- For children BP is checked on a chart by gender, age and height. Childhood obesity is rampant, so I check BP during yearly check-ups. The appropriate sized cuff should be used for an accurate result.
- For adults hypertension is BP greater than 140 over 90. If blood pressure is between 140-159/90-99 it should be confirmed within 2 months. Many patients have home BP monitor, wrist or arm. I urge my patients to bring the monitors into the office and my nurse will check for accurate calibration.
- Weight loss.
- Exercise. (What doesn’t that help?)
- Medication. There are inexpensive, easy-to-take medication to decrease BP. Most patients need 2-3 medications (many are available in combinations) to adequately control BP.
When BP is high, it constricts blood vessels. Blood vessels feed the tissues with blood, meaning nutrients and oxygen. The most important organs are the brain, heart and kidneys. Long term high BP predisposes a person to dementia, heart disease and kidney failure. For men, this can also cause impotence.
Know your BP. Check it at a pharmacy, grocery, or fire department. If elevated, seek help.