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When did Elevated Blood Pressure become the “Norm”?
Submitted by Karen Andalman on Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:47am
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a biometric screening for one of my clients. In addition to the venipuncture draw, the participants had their height and weight measured, as well as a blood pressure check. Quite of few had elevated blood pressures. Many of the comments we heard were:
“These numbers are my norm-it always runs like this so for me it is OK”
“I know it is on the high side but I don’t want to take blood pressure medication”
Or even scarier “my doctor knows about this and he is watching it”
I am concerned that people have a misconception that high blood pressure is OK. Because they are not experiencing any symptoms, then it is acceptable to go through life with high blood pressure. High blood pressure can be a “silent killer”. Untreated high blood pressure can put you at risk for heart failure, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure or aneurysms.
Today there are so many classes of medications that can be used in the treatment of high blood pressure. I believe that those that are afraid to take medication believe that the medications will cause them to be groggy and walk around in a “zombie-like” state. Nothing could be further than the truth. With all of the classes of blood pressure medications on the market today, physicians have numerous options when prescribing.
I hesitate to address the comment that a doctor knows about the high blood pressure and is just watching it. I would like to believe that this is just a statement of denial or a roadblock put up by the participant.
In addition to medication for elevated blood pressure, there are lifestyle changes that can be implemented to prevent or maintain normal blood pressure (120/80): Limiting salt intake, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, reduction in stress, and not smoking.
So, if you find that your blood pressure is running consistently higher than the norm, or has been creeping up over time, I urge you to consult your doctor. It may save your life!