Health Escape

This page is dedicated to assist in improving the health of women by providing resources and health information relative to us. Women are historically known to be the caregivers of the family, however, we often tend to neglect ourselves with regard to health and it has to stop. We have to start caring for ourselves as well in order to be of better service to our loved ones.

Health Focus #1: Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers—the systolic pressure (as the heart beats) over the diastolic pressure (as the heart relaxes between beats). The measurement is written one above or before the other, with the systolic number on top and the diastolic number on the bottom. For example, a blood pressure measurement of 120/80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) is expressed verbally as “120 over 80.”

A Normal Blood Pressure is less than 120 mmHg systolic and less than 80 mmHg diastolic.

How do I know if I have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure often has no signs or symptoms. The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to be tested for it. Using the familiar blood pressure cuff, your doctor or nurse can easily tell if your blood pressure is high. You can also monitor using the monitors at your local pharmacy.

Issues for Women

Three out of four women with high blood pressure know they have it. Yet fewer than one in three are controlling their blood pressure. All women should take steps to control their blood pressure. Blood Pressure levels can be increased in women with the following conditions:

  • Pregnancy
  • Taking Oral Contraceptives
  • Taking Hormone Replacement Therapy

Prevention

You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle. These steps include maintaining a healthy weight; being physically active; following ahealthy eating plan, that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and lowfat dairy foods; choosing and preparing foods with less salt and sodium; and, if you drink alcoholic beverages, drinking in moderation. Here’s what you can do to help reduce your risk:

  • Follow a healthy Eating Pattern
  • Reduce Salt and Sodium intake in your diet
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight
  • Be Physically Active
  • Limit Alcohol intake
  • Quit smoking

“Source: 2012 National Health Observances, National Health Information Center, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.”

Please note that this page is not designed to diagnose or treat. If you are in need of medical attention, please follow up with your primary care provider or if emergent then report to the nearest emergency room.

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