Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure isn’t just something to start worrying about when you get older. It’s something to start monitoring at an early age, especially if you have a family history of high blood pressure or heart disease. Dr. Fred M. Civish and our caring team members at Jordan Meadows in West Jordan, Utah, or at Hunter Medical Center in West Valley, Utah, are experts in monitoring blood pressure. Our providers will get you the treatment you need and counsel you on lifestyle changes to minimize your risk of having high blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Q & A

How is high blood pressure (hypertension) diagnosed?

The first thing most medical professionals do during an exam is put a cuff on your upper arm. As this cuff fills with air, it temporarily stops blood flow in the brachial artery. When air is released and blood flow resumes, our provider will listen closely for your heart beat. Sometimes, this is completed entirely by a machine.

The top number (systolic) indicates the level of pressure in arterial walls during heart beats. Your bottom number (diastolic) shows how much pressure goes against arterial walls while your heart rests. Healthy blood pressure is below 120/80 mmHg.

How does my blood pressure impact my health?

When your heart beats, it pushes blood throughout your body. This process is essential for getting nutrients and oxygen to every single cell. Blood travels through and presses against the walls of vessels, veins, and arteries. Pressure, or force, is certainly necessary to keep things moving, but blood pressure that is too high, can increase your risk of suffering from:

  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure

What is considered high blood pressure?

In general, having blood pressure of 140/90 or greater is considered high. But even before then, when your numbers start going over 120/80 and up to 139/89, our provider will keep an eye on you. These levels indicate prehypertension and while you don’t currently have high blood pressure, you’re highly likely to develop it in the future.

How can I reduce my blood pressure?

If your blood pressure is high one of our providers will probably prescribe a medication. But pills aren’t a cure-all, rather you need to make some lifestyle changes, too. One of our providers will counsel you on blood pressure-lowering tips, including:

  • Increasing fiber intake
  • Losing weight
  • Decreasing caffeine intake
  • Reducing sodium consumption
  • Increasing activity level
  • Minimizing alcohol consumption
  • Taking over-the-counter dietary supplements

These lifestyle changes may also help you get off of the medication if your body no longer needs them to help regulate your pressure.

Is it possible to have low blood pressure?

Yes. It’s also possible for your blood pressure to be too low (hypotension), meaning that blood isn’t getting pumped around as quickly as it should. For healthy adults, blood pressure well below 120/80 isn’t a concern, as long as you’re not having any symptoms. In elderly adults though, lower-than-normal blood pressure can be a warning sign of poor blood flow to vital organs, like the heart and brain.

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