Why You Should Get Your Blood Pressure Checked Annually?
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it has virtually no symptoms but it can take an incredible, potentially irreversible toll on your body. Persons who suffer long term hypertension are often more prone to chronic illness such as heart or kidney failure.
In the United States, about 1 in 3 people have high blood pressure. What’s even more alarming is that more than half of these people numbers are not aware of their condition, therefore, they are yet to have it under control.
Here’s why you should get your blood pressure checked at least once per year by a suitable professional.
Allows You to Make Necessary Lifestyle Changes
Several gains are attached to regularly checking your blood pressure. With regular screening, it’s easy to monitor and address any potentially life-threatening readings. Your doctor will usually recommend some lifestyle changes first before putting you on medication.
This is because sometimes the way we live (unhealthy eating, insufficient sleep etc) can cause high blood pressure and as mentioned previously, this can develop into more serious conditions.
By checking your blood pressure annually, your doctor can recommend what things you will have to change in your diet and lifestyle that will help improve your blood pressure and keep you healthier for longer.
It is a Cheaper Alternative
One of the things most people fail to notice is that in most cases, annual blood pressure checks save you more money than you would have imagined.
Treating a heart attack or trying to recover some feeling in the body after a stroke has an adverse effect on your nervous system will take years of therapy and medication, costing you tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, with annual checks, you can catch these conditions before they cause considerable harm to your body and your pockets and you can then address your blood pressure issues.
This is because blood pressure checks are inexpensive and sometimes even free. Usually, your doctor will do it in your regular check up but studies show that only about 20 to 23 percent of American adults get these check ups annually which is why blood pressure problems usually go unnoticed until they start to cause symptoms because of related issues.
An aneurysm is a bulge that forms within an artery due to the heavy pressure and weakening of said artery. Over time, this bulge could rupture and cause internal bleeding which could actually lead to death.
Sustained high blood pressure is one of the main causes of kidney damage or failure. The kidneys are vital organs which means we cannot survive without them (though we can live with one). This is because they help to filter wastes from the blood using what are called nephrons.
When a person has hypertension, the arteries can become narrower, weakened or hardened. This reduces the ability of the body to deliver the necessary oxygen and nutrients for nephrons and other parts of the kidney to do their jobs.
What’s more, there are certain cells in the kidneys that produce and release an enzyme called renin which works with a hormone called aldosterone to aid in the regulation of blood pressure, so if your kidneys get damaged, your existing hypertension will only get worse.
Kidneys can also become damaged due to an aneurysm.
Conversely, your high blood pressure could actually be caused by a pre-existing kidney problem.
A stroke is one of the scariest things that can happen to you because it seemingly happens randomly and many people don’t know what is actually happening when it’s transpiring.
Some of the signs of a stroke include face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, trouble walking, among others. The thing to note about these symptoms is that they occur abruptly.
A stroke is what happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or blocked, whether in the arteries or the blood vessels in the brain. The blood clots created from high blood pressure and/or the rupturing or narrowing of blood vessels in the brain are usually the culprits.
Therefore, if you have high blood pressure but you’re unaware, you may suddenly get a stroke one causing potentially irreversible damage.
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones of the body are relatively weak and more susceptible to fracturing.
Ever since we were children, we have been told how important calcium is for healthy bones.
There have been numerous studies which show a relationship between blood pressure and the amount of calcium in urine. Generally, more calcium in the urine means there is less in your bones which leads to a decrease in bone density and ultimately, osteoporosis.
This is especially important for people over the age of 35 because after this age, bone density naturally decreases as well so hypertension speeds up the process if left unchecked.
The rate of bone loss goes up even further in women after menopause!
Heart damage due to blood pressure may be the one we’re most aware of because blood equals heart in many of our minds so the connection is natural.
Indeed, you are correct because uncontrolled hypertension can weaken the muscles of the heart over time, leading to a huge decrease in efficiency. The wear and tear then accumulates much quicker and eventually the heart will just give out and stop working.
Another way that hypertension can damage the heart is by thickening of the left ventricle. This thickening occurs because the high blood pressure forces the heart to work harder. The left ventricle is then less capable of pumping blood throughout the rest of the body, increasing the possibility of heart attack, heart failure or sudden cardiac death.
Coronary artery disease is a third way that heart damage can occur. As mentioned previously, high blood pressure can lead to the narrowing of the arteries, thereby limiting the free flow of blood. This can directly lead to things such as chest pain or heart attack.
Hypertension can lead to a plethora of problems within the body, all producing their own symptoms, if any at all.
There have been many people who have felt healthy and lived years with high blood pressure unknowingly until a random check up with a health professional made them aware of their condition. If your blood pressure is a little high but not a cause for major concern, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and some home remedies for high blood pressure before placing you on medication.
This is why is important for you to get your blood pressure checked annually – it allows your doctors to get an idea of how long your blood pressure has been high and if it has been getting progressively worse.
Also, annual checks are important regardless of age because though high readings are more common in people over the age of 40, younger persons can also develop the condition because of lifestyle, diet, genetics etc. Other underlying forces such as kidney damage could also be the source of the problem.