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Know your numbers, save your life

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Do you know your numbers, specifically, your blood pressure?

Today is World Hypertension Day.

If you think high blood pressure is not that serious you're wrong.

Cardiologist, Dr. Frank Tilli, of Genesys Heart Institute, says knowing your numbers could save your life, "I think there's definitely a need for awareness. it is underdiagnosed and it is undertreated."

Every day, Dr. Tilli sees the toll hypertension takes on his patients, "We're talking about stroke. We're talking about heart attack. We're talking about the development of congestive heart failure. It can effect he eyes. It can effect the kidneys. It can effect all of the organs in the body."

High blood pressure is highly treatable, but the problem is, people can go for a long time without knowing they have it.

"People can be quite hyptertensive and feel absolutely great. And, in fact, sometimes when we initiate therapy for hypertension they don't feel so great, because they're used to having this very high blood pressure," Tilli says.

Along with medications, you can manage your blood pressure by keeping salt intake under 2400 milligrams a day.

Dr. Tilli says, getting down to a healthy weight helps some patients immensely, "As we work on weigh tloss, and their weight comes down or their weight normalizes, we've often been able to back down frequently on their anti-hypertensive medications all together."

The American Heart Association considers 120/80 "textbook normal" blood pressure.

You can always get your own digital blood pressure cuff. You want one that is going to fit on your upper arm. You just press a button, and within about a minute, you have your blood pressure reading.

If you do have concerns about your blood pressure, take your blood pressure at the same time every day, once or twice a day, and log it. This information can be very helpful for your doctor.


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