This is month is blood pressure month! So I want to share some facts to keep you well informed, and help you care for your health including prevention measures.

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. This is a major risk factor in heart disease and strokes among Hispanics in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, of the Hispanics who experienced strokes, 72% had high blood pressure issues in comparison to 66% of Non-Hispanics Whites.

High blood pressure tends to be hereditary and is more frequent in men than women. Ethnicity and age also have an impact. African Americans are more prone to high blood pressure especially African American women over 60.

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure refers to the pressure of the blood in your circulatory system. The heart pumps blood towards the arteries and transport blood all over the organism. When the pressure is high, the hearts works excessively to pump blood around the body leading to hardening of arteries and heart failure.

Blood pressure is measured in mercury millimeters (mm Hg) and has two numbers: A higher or systolic number and a lower or diastolic number. Measurement is a combination of both numbers. It is said your pressure is normal when the higher number is equal or lower than 120 and the lower number is at 80.

Pre-hypertension oscillates within a range of 120-139 over 80-89. High pressure varies between 140-159 over 90-99 in a first phase, and 160 and more over 100 and more!

What are the causes?

It is not known exactly what causes high blood pressure but, as note previously, there are certain incidental factors. Apart from ethnicity, age and hereditary factors, there are other conditions that influence hypertension related to lifestyle choices such as:

-Inactivity

-Tobacco addiction and alcoholism

-Overweight and Obesity

-Excessive sodium in your diet

-Stress

-Some medical conditions like kidney disease or thyroid glands problems.

Pregnant women

There are two types of hypertension: Essential and secondary. “Essential” is when the cause cannot be determined, which occurs in more than 90% of cases. Incidental factors are those related to lifestyle choices. “Secondary” is derived from the aforementioned illnesses as listed above.

Birth control, especially those with estrogen and pregnancy can increase arterial pressure, similar to medications that constrict blood vessels.

If you have taken your pressure and the numbers exceed normal range, you should visit your doctor immediately! It is important to check your pressure since this type of illness presents no symptoms. And in many cases, it is discovered after a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure.

In general, it is necessary to change your lifestyle and in some cases medication may be necessary. The dosage will be regulated depending on the doctor overlooking the case and the gravity of the same.

You will also need to monitor your pressure daily. This is something you can easily do at home! How? Ask your doctor what is the best method or apparatus to suit your needs.

Before you take your pressure, it is recommended to avoid caffeine, cigarettes and exercise for at least 30 minutes before the test.

Get comfortable and sit upright in a chair with your feet on the ground. Your arm should be supported on the table. Take it at the same hour every day and do it at least a few times. Then record the data in a journal and take it to your doctor. This will help them to monitor the sickness and help you improve.

There are several devices on the market to take your pressure but, as noted previously, it is preferable to talk to your doctor or nurse to find out what is more convenient in your case. It is also important to ask them how to use it correctly!

I hope this information has been of interest to you!

Until the next time!