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Dr. Aajay Shah - Hypertension

There’s no denying that the holidays bring much joy, but for many they also bring a fair share of stress! We all know that a spike in stress can also cause a hike in blood pressure. Since we have potentially stressful situations right around the corner (think check-out lines on Black Friday), let’s review Dr. Shah’s latest vlog where he talks about blood pressure and the importance of keeping it under control.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is the technical term for high blood pressure. Measuring your blood pressure involves two different numbers:

  1. Systolic (the top number) – This number reflects the amount of pressure created from your heart muscle contracting. Recent studies have shown that systolic blood pressure below 120 is ideal.
  2. Diastolic (the bottom number) – This is the pressure that blood creates in your arteries between heart contractions. Your diastolic blood pressure should be below 85.

If your blood pressure reading is consistently above these targets, then this is considered hypertension.

Why is hypertension dangerous?

Hypertension is known as a silent killer because most people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms and they feel fine, when in reality hypertension is affecting their entire body. When symptoms do finally show up, it’s usually in the form of something serious like one of the following:

  • Stroke – high blood pressure is one of the most common causes
  • Heart attack – high blood pressure is a major risk factor for coronary disease (blocked arteries in the heart)
  • Kidney Failure – high blood pressure can cause many patients to go on dialysis
  • Blindness – high blood pressure can seriously affect your eyesight

As you can tell, high blood can have serious consequences. Even though you might think you’re totally ok, managing your blood pressure is critical to maintaining a healthy life.

Medication

Fortunately, in the last 25 years many advancements have been made and blood pressure medications have been developed that have minimal side effects. Additionally, many of these medications are now generic, which means medication is much more cost-effective than it used to be. If you do happen to experience side effects, there are plenty of options available that will allow us to find a medication that works with your body chemistry. Dr. Shah tells his patients that his goal is to bring their blood pressure down within 6-8 weeks, and he has had much success in meeting this target.

At-Home Blood Pressure Machines

Something else Dr. Shah recommends for his patients is an automatic blood pressure machine that can be used at home. This allows you to check your blood pressure at any point in time, and will deliver a reading within 1 minute. One of the benefits of having one of these at home is that it provides both you and Dr. Shah with an accurate idea of what your blood pressure is like on a daily basis. Sometimes when patients visit a doctor their blood pressure is higher than normal, so it can be like a false alarm. Taking your blood pressure regularly at home provides a bigger, more accurate picture of how you’re doing.

Things you can do to help

Lowering your blood pressure is not just Dr. Shah’s job. There are things you will need to do to help as well, some of which include:

  • Lowering salt in your diet.
  • Eating a DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) – Google it 🙂
  • Walking 20-30 minutes, 5 times a week.
  • RELAXING! Find some sort of relaxation technique that you enjoy, and do this 10-15 minutes, 1-2 times a day.
  • Managing daily stress.
  • Getting your fair share of sound/deep sleep.

Dr. Shah is prepared to do his part to lower your blood pressure, but now he needs you to do yours. Start by calling his office today to make an appointment.

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