Know Your Numbers: Understanding the Impact of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is more common than you think. Nearly 1 in 2 adults who have high blood pressure, and only 25% are actively in control of their health. Unchecked blood pressure impacts your heart and brain, and left unchecked; it can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, pregnancy complications, and cognitive decline later in life.
February is American Heart Month, a time to focus on heart health. Knowing your numbers is essential to your health, and taking steps to understand the impact of high blood pressure on your heart and brain is a great way to start a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Typically there are no warning signs or symptoms of high blood pressure, which is why many call it the “silent killer,” as many people do not know they have it. Measuring your blood pressure is the only way to tell whether you are at risk.
Where to check your blood pressure
- At an annual physical with your physician
A great time to check your blood pressure is at a doctor’s office during your annual physical.
- At a pharmacy or at home
You can meet with your pharmacist to check your numbers or even purchase a device to use at home and log your blood pressure regularly.
- At a Know Your Number’s Event
A Know Your Number event can often give you insight into your health and allow you to track your health over time. You can find an event near you with Reside Health.
If you have high blood pressure, the good news is that there are ways to get your blood pressure under control, and working with your care team is a great way to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
How a care team helps manage your high blood pressure
- Meet with your Physician
Your physician can measure your blood pressure and offer advice on lifestyle changes to help manage any medical conditions or keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. Your provider may also recommend other tests to check your cholesterol, kidney function, and glucose levels.
- Work with a Registered Dietitian
If you want a more evidence-based approach, work with a registered dietitian who evaluates your overall diet, lifestyle, and medical history. They can then provide personalized nutrition advice to help lower blood pressure, such as eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy, limiting sodium, getting regular physical activity, and quitting smoking. They can also provide strategies to help manage stress and provide emotional support.
- Meet regularly with a License Therapist
It’s important to manage stress and anxiety. While there are medications, sometimes it’s better to find a support system in a licensed therapist who can help you learn how to acknowledge triggers that cause stress and anxiety and teach you best practices to prevent and manage stress.
The main takeaway
Being proactive and knowing your numbers is the key to reducing your risk of heart disease. High blood pressure can be challenging to detect since there are usually no symptoms. Working with your doctor and a registered dietitian can help you create a plan to manage high blood pressure and keep your heart healthy for years to come.
Your blood pressure is an important indicator of your overall health and should not be ignored. Make sure to check your numbers regularly and take steps toward maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle!
Schedule a Know Your Numbers event at your workplace
Want to schedule a Know Your Numbers Event at your workplace? Reside Health offers Health and Wellness employer programming for Human Resource and People teams. Booking a Know Your Numbers event allows for a clinical team to come to the office and offer quick and noninvasive health screenings for employees. Schedule your workplace health event with Reside today!