Family practice provider J.D. Eiman, PA-C shares insight about high blood pressure and why it’s something you shouldn’t ignore:
Blood pressure is an important measurement of health. When the pressure reading is high, it is given the medical term “hypertension.” Hypertension has few symptoms unless extremely high and so that is why it is routinely checked for at a medical office. It is important to diagnose it early, for better health outcomes.
Many people do not realize that uncontrolled high blood pressure is an important risk factor for a heart attack or stroke (think brain attack). So in other words, the two most important organs in your body – your heart and brain are at risk for the most damage. While many people either live or die with a heart attack, with a stroke there are many levels of disability that occur with damage to the brain. Strokes can leave a person paralyzed, unable to communicate or with difficulty swallowing to name just a few. How terrible to think that these outcomes can be avoided with a little medication to control blood pressure!
There are many different things that can impact your blood pressure that vary from person to person: older age, race, being overweight, family history, too much salt in your diet, drinking too much alcohol, not getting enough exercise, having diabetes or high cholesterol, and even having low Vitamin D.
There are over 50 different medications and more combinations of those drugs, giving medical providers a multitude of ways to counteract all the different causes of elevated pressure. Sometimes it takes some experimentation to find the right combination for an individual patient, but it is worth the work. If you are diagnosed with hypertension, remember to take your medication and monitor your pressure at home, to help your medical team providing your care.
Next time you see a free blood pressure machine, sit down and see how you are doing. And always ask when you are in the clinic what your results are, so that you can be heart and brain healthy. Remember, as medical professionals, we are here to help, but your health is up to you!
J.D. Eiman, PA-C is a physicians assistant at the OCH of Gravette Clinic. J.D. sees patients of all ages for primary care needs and is also certified to perform DOT physicals. She received her education and training from Texas A&M University and Harding University and is currently a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Arkansas Association of Physician Assistants, Christian Medical and Dental Association/Fellowship of Christian Physician Assistants and the California Association of Physician Assistants. To contact J.D. at the clinic, call (479) 787-5221.