It’s easy to see that elderly people and those of us overweight need blood pressure monitoring. Both are primary causes of high blood pressure. The problem comes in when people in other groups think they’re safe. I’ve got news for you…you may not be.
“I’m young!” Youth does not prevent high numbers. In fact, if you have an underlying heart condition or a breathing disorder such as asthma, you are definitely in need of regular checks. Both asthma attacks and rescue inhalers can be to blame.
Youth does you no favors if you are obese, as well. There are many youngsters…under eighteen…already on blood pressure medications. If you are young and overweight, losing those extra pounds increases your chances of avoiding these medications and the complications high blood pressure can cause. Being under eighteen with second degree numbers puts you at just as much a risk of heart attacks and strokes of those older than you.
“I’m pregnant!” Avoiding checkups of all sorts is dangerous during pregnancy, but blood pressure is of primary importance. High numbers are one of the first signs of preeclampsia, a forerunner to toxemia in pregnancy. Both you and your baby could die.
“I’m already on blood pressure medications.” Don’t think you’re out of the woods. Your needs can change or the medication you are on could cease to be effective. Regular checks make sure that your numbers stay in the normal range.
“I’m at a healthy weight.” Weight isn’t the only factor, and being at a healthy weight doesn’t mean you’re safe. Heredity, sedentary lifestyles, stress and other factors can make your numbers rise…and stay there.
“I exercise.” That’s great, but it isn’t all protective. First of all, your numbers go up during a workout. It’s to be expected; your heart has to work harder to supply your body’s increased oxygen needs. Second, as with being at a healthy weight, other factors can come into play.
Your doctor’s assistant will take your blood pressure during every visit, even if you are coming in for an unrelated reason. That’s good, but it may not be good enough. You can also use the automatic machines many drug and grocery stores provide. However, your best way of keeping track of your blood pressure is to buy a cuff set and take it regularly at home. They are inexpensive and well worth the fifteen dollar investment. Your life may depend on it.