Do YOU Know YOUR Numbers? High Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer

by Kimberly Vanderpoel on April 20th, 2016

1 in 3 adults in the United States has high blood pressure. Are you the ONE?

Blood Pressure Basics

Did you know that blood does not travel in a steady flow through the body?  Instead, it is propelled through the blood vessels with the force of every heartbeat.  Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of the blood vessels that run through your body.

It is two forces.  One is the force caused by your heart as it pumps blood through your body.  The other force comes from your blood vessels as they resist the blood pumped by your heart.  Your blood pressure is written as two numbers, such as 120/80.  The first number is the systolic measure.  This is the pressure when your heart contracts.  The second number is the diastolic measure.  This is the pressure when your heart relaxes between beats.  High blood pressure can lead to serious health problems. It’s sometimes called “the silent killer” because high blood pressure has no symptoms, so you may not be aware that it’s damaging your arteries, heart and other organs.

Know Your Numbers

High Blood Pressure:  Major Cause of Stroke

Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.  If your blood pressure is high, you could be at risk for a stroke.  A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts.  Then, part of the brain can’t get the blood it needs and starts to die.

If you or someone has any of these warning signs below, call 911:

  • Your face, arm, or leg suddenly feels weak or numb (mainly on one side of your body)
  • You are confused, can’t talk, or have trouble thinking
  • You can’t see in one or both eyes suddenly
  • You can’t walk, feel dizzy, lose your balance, or have a bad headache for no reason

Tips to Lower High Blood Pressure

  • Keep yourself at a healthy weight and follow a healthy eating plan
  • Be physically active
  • Eat foods low in sodium
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink: one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men
  • Take the medications your doctor prescribes
  • Stop smoking

Do you know what your blood pressure is? During the month of April, The Big Squeeze is happening in the Sioux Falls Area–and it’s FREE. This is your chance to know your numbers to prevent strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and many other complications that come with having uncontrolled high blood pressure. Check here for Big Squeeze Times and Locations.

Get Screened. Stay Well. You’re Worth It!


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