Why I'm here....

Since I've always been quick with an opinion an old friend once lost and again found suggested that perhaps I should share with more people my commentary. Never being one to pass on a challenge I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hypertension The Silent Killer

Hypertension, high blood pressure, is a silent killer. One of three Americans has it and the thing is 1 out of that three of them probably don't even realize they have it. I didn't. As a matter of fact I'm lucky because I found it quickly. I donate blood about every six months to the American Red Cross. It helps out someone and I actually feel better for the next few days while my blood rebuilds. Plus there are all the test they run on your blood so it's like a free check up. I actually found out about an iron deficiency at one point from donating. Test like that would cost a lot of money if you went to your doctors office. So there is a lot of good for me and for someone else. I am O positive which is fairly common. Being fairly common means they need more of it though. And just because you have high blood pressure, doesn't mean you can't donate. As long as you have it under control with or without medication you can donate. Well in six months my blood pressure readings with them had changed and I don't mean a little. It went from 120/70 to being 156/85. I had a lot of stress and other factors so I ignored it for a while, thinking once the stress left I'd be back to normal. Thing is the stress didn't leave. I did see symptoms thinking back, but I pushed them off to other reasons. When I went to my doctor for a kidney infection my blood pressure was 198/92. That was a big red flag. So I am on a medication and I have a 2000 mg a day of salt diet that I try to stick with. Along with exercise. I had a check up a couple of weeks ago and my blood pressure was back to being normal. Of course who knows without the medication. Here are the common symptoms, that is when there are symptoms.

Symptoms listed at MEDCO: headaches, getting tired easily, dizziness, nosebleeds, chest pain, & shortness of breath.

I always have headaches so for me that isn't unusual and didn't signal a thing. The second one on the list though. Wow! I had gotten in the last year to where I always felt tired no matter what. I couldn't get enough sleep and never felt good. I also had six, count them six kidney infections last year and a bladder infection and a throat infection that took four different antibiotics to get rid of. Don't expect you will feel any symptoms though. This is why it's called the silent killer. A good majority of people with high blood pressure never have any symptoms. They are healthy looking and in shape. Yet they have this killer just waiting to take them out.

High Blood pressure can Cause, Strokes, Heart Disease, & Kidney disease to name a few.

American Heart Association recommended blood pressure levels

Blood Pressure Category Systolic/ Diastolic

Normal less than 120 & less than 80
Prehypertension 120–139 or 80–89


Stage 1 140–159 or 90–99
Stage 2 160 or higher or 100 or higher Blood Pressure Category

The Systolic rate is the top number in your reading and is the number that shows the force of your heart pumping, while the bottom rate, diastolic, is the rate of your heart at rest. If you are a person who doesn't go for regular checkups, I know most Walmarts, Meijers, Kmart's, and Walgreen's have machines where you can check your blood pressure. Along with most firehouses offer days where they will take your blood pressure. You would want to check on when that is available in your area. But if you're brave and you want to help someone out I really do recommend donating blood at the red cross.


1 comment:

ida said...

we got a machine at work.....(i could make a sick joke at this point...but i wont...:)) your rght it is the silent killer. get it checked and get it checked often