Blog #679 May isn’t just Mother’s Day

May is not just for Mother’s Day

May is also National High Blood Pressure Education Month

As a person with high blood pressure, I wanted to do some research and share what I find out.

The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) has these facts:

-1 High Blood Pressure may be linked to dementia!!!
The CDC gives this information:
“Recent studies show that high blood pressure is linked to a higher risk for dementia, a loss of cognitive function. The timing seems to matter: Some evidence suggests having uncontrolled high blood pressure during midlife (age 45 to 65) creates a higher risk for dementia later in life. The takeaway? It’s never too early to start thinking about your blood pressure and taking steps to manage it.”
OOH – that is scary to me, I am trying to avoid dementia – but have had high blood pressure for some time. (I have been on medications since I was 52 – hopefully, that has helped).

-2 Young People can have High Blood Pressure
Again the CDC shares that one in four men from 35 to 44 has high blood pressure; and one in five women in that same age group have it as well.

-3 There may not be any symptoms.
You don’t sweat, you don’t feel bad, you don’t have headaches from high blood pressure. Still, get your blood pressure checked regularly. A local grocery store has a free blood pressure check on the second Saturday of the month. I also have a home blood pressure testing device.

-4 Many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it.
The CDC estimates that about 11 million people don’t know they have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart attacks and more. In my case, my high blood pressure was like running a ‘fire hose’ through my aorta (the main artery of the body). That pressure was cutting holes in the aorta lining and creating false channels (aneurysms). Plus if the pressure would have cut a hole in the outside lining of the aorta, I would have bled to death in a few minutes. (My doctor said I was lucky to be alive).

-5 Women and minorities have higher risks of high blood pressure complications
The CDC suggests reducing or eliminating salt (i.e. sodium), losing weight and getting exercise. Obesity and diabetes are bad in-and-of-themselves, but when tied to the potential for other problems can be a bad combination.

I am on several medications. About an hour ago (as I write this), my pressure was 113/63 – which is low. The recommended is under 130 for the upper number (systolic) and about 80 for the lower number (diastolic). When I had my high blood pressure incidence, my systolic was 213 and diastolic was 165 with a pulse of 161. Yes, that was like ‘running a fire hose’ through my aorta. (And, the cause of a 6.5-hour surgery where a whole crew of medical staff worked over me).

After the surgery, I was very weak, couldn’t walk far and went into depression as I thought I have little or no value.

We will continue this look at high blood pressure – with ways to lower your blood pressure.

“See” you tomorrow!!!

Karen

Posted by Bruce White

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