Skip to main content

Acadiana Lifestyle

Health Notes: September 2015

09/08/2015 08:54AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

High Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer

by Ellen S. Mullen M.D.

High blood pressure or hypertension is caused by your blood running through your vessels at a higher pressure than normal. When this occurs the smaller vessels in your body can be damaged which causes damage to the organs that are receiving blood from these vessels. High blood pressure is diagnosed by checking your blood pressure with a cuff that goes around your arm.  Blood pressure readings are made up of two numbers which we separate by a slash.  The top number is the systolic blood pressure. It is the peak pressure measured when your heart is squeezing the blood out. The bottom number is called the diastolic pressure and is measured when your heart is relaxing between beats and is refilling with blood.

A normal blood pressure is less than 130/85 and high blood pressure is 140/90 or greater. If your blood pressure is between these two numbers it is called prehypertension. If you have other illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease your doctor may want your blood pressure to be less than 130/80.  Why is it important to keep your blood pressure normal? Hypertension increases your risk of stroke, kidney failure, heart disease, heart attack and eye problems.

What can you do to decrease your blood pressure? One of the most important things you can do is to stop smoking if you do smoke. Also losing weight if you are overweight will lower your blood pressure. Exercise regularly, eat more fruits and vegetables and decrease your intake of salt, alcohol and caffeine.  Decreasing the stress in your life and relaxing more can also be helpful. Your doctor my have to start you on medications if you are not able to decrease your blood pressure with the above lifestyle changes. Medicines work in many different ways and often you may need more than one medication to achieve a normal blood pressure. You should never discontinue medications without discussing this with your doctor first.

Most persons do not experience any symptoms with high blood pressure.  Therefore it is important to regularly check your blood pressure and see your doctor if it is high.  Don’t let the “silent killer” catch you off guard!

Health+Wellness, Today Health Notes: September 2015 High blood pressure

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • VITA Tutor Training Workshops

    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    Do you want to help someone improve their reading and math skills, pass the HiSET test, or join t...

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Birds in South Louisiana

    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join in this free fall seminar on birds in South Louisiana, how you can attract them, how you can...

  • Dat Dog Grand Opening


    Dat Dog restaurant will be celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 201 J...

  • Dat Dog Grand Opening


    The new Lafayette restaurant is the first location for Dat Dog outside of the New Orleans area. D...

New! Read The Issue Online


2017 Discover Iberia


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Interested in:
Email Format