Many factors go into our cardiac health. Among the most important and easiest to keep an eye on is blood pressure. A measure of your blood pressure is always part of an annual preventive exam. If you are due for a checkup, make an appointment this month. The more each of us know about our health, the better off we can be. Finding out your blood pressure is a great start.

We might know about “high” blood pressure, however, we may not realize if ours has gotten too high over time. High blood pressure can lead to heart attack and stroke and it’s often called the “silent killer.” Regular, annual appointments with a health care provider help fight it.

Blood pressure is usually given as two numbers: systolic and diastolic. The top number measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats; the diastolic measurement is pressure when your heart is at rest. Your “BP” can vary, so if you test high, your provider may want to check it multiple times or have you check it at home before settling on a treatment plan.

For most people, normal blood pressure is 120/80. When it’s above that, but below 140/90, your provider can discuss ways to help get those numbers down into the normal range. This may include quitting smoking or exercising more. It can also include a few changes in diet to help make sure you avoid excess salt and get proper nutrition from fruit, vegetables and lean meats.

When your blood pressure is consistently high enough to put you at risk, you can work with your provider to get it under control. That might include the lifestyle changes mentioned above, plus a prescribed medication that can help.

The people who care about you want you to take good care of yourself. Keeping your blood pressure under control is one way to do that.

Taking this simple step toward better health is easy. Please call 712-754-3658 to set up an appointment with a provider.