About Health Team

High Blood Pressure

When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

The only way to tell is to have your BP checked which can be done at the doctors office, a pharmacy, some gyms have BP machines in them, a health fair, or someone you know that is a healthcare professional. You can also purchase a Blood Pressure kit from a local pharmacy and check your BP at home.

The only way to know if you have high blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) is to have your blood pressure tested. Under-standing your results is key to controlling high blood pressure. A diagnosis of High BP or Hypertension must come from a medical professional and will need to be monitored.

Blood pressure categories: The five blood pressure ranges as recognized by the American Heart Association are:

1-Normal

Less than 120/80 mm Hg

2-Elevated

Consistent readings from 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.

3-Hypertension Stage 1

Consistent readings in the range of 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic.

4-Hypertension Stage 2

Consistent readings of 140/90 mm Hg or higher.

5-Hypertensive crisis

This stage of high blood pressure requires medical attention. Readings that exceed 180/120 mm Hg.

You and your medical provider will discuss what treatment plan is best for you. Treatment can consist of medications to help control your BP as well as lifestyle changes. If you have high BP you should avoid salty foods. Your physician may ask you to exercise and try to avoid stress. If you smoke it may be advised that you quit. If you have any questions about your medications speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

Additional Resources:

American Heart Association – Check, Change, Control Calculator Tool

American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Information page.

Spring Cleaning for your Medicine Cabinet

Soon we will start to hear the birds chirping in the early mornings and the days will begin to get warmer – its time for spring. Most people do a spring cleaning of their homes to get rid of unwanted clothing, shoes, old toiletries and spruce up their homes.

Well don’t forget about your medicine cabinet. Be sure to dispose of expired and medications you no longer use properly. There will be a National Prescription Drug take back day on April 27, 2019.

Tips for dropping off unused or expired medication(s)and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines:

  • While not required, it is best practice to cross out your name(s) and address with a permanent marker on all medication labels.
  • The bottles are not examined when removed from the drop-box and are safely and securely destroyed.
  • Sharps (needles) are not accepted at any drop-box location.
  • For medications in cartons, remove the outer carton, but leave medications in the original bottles, as it was prescribed.
  • Please don’t dump pills into large bags. We discourage this in case someone is stopped by law enforcement. (If you are stopped, they should inform the officer of their intent to dispose.)
  • For large drop-off amounts or any other questions, please contact the location nearest you to see specific location criteria.

Medication Drop-off Locations and Times

National DEA Take Back Day 2019 – April 27 2019. Visit their website for additional info and a Collection Site locator.

Annual Physicals

An annual physical with a primary care MD is a good way to stay healthy and proactive.

  • Make it a goal to get a physical with your primary care provider annually. Sometimes its easiest to schedule this around your birthday so you don’t forget.
  • There are certain screenings that need to be done annually or less often so it’s important to talk with your primary care provider about when you need to be scheduling things like colonoscopies and mammograms.
  • Women, especially child bearing years, should also see someone for their routine gynecological care. This can be with your primary care provider or an OB/ GYN MD.
  • Make sure you are up to date on all vaccines. This can be discussed with your primary care provider as well who should have a record of them.
  • In the fall mark the calendar to remember to get your flu shot.

Other Healthcare workers you should see are:

  • Dentist: You should make sure you have appointments to see you dentist at least 2 times each year for a basic cleaning and exam.
  • Eye Doctor: Most adults should see an eye MD annually as well.

Don’t have a Primary Care Doctor…

If you don’t have a primary care provider contact your insurance company to see who is in network. Local hospitals have doctor referral information on their websites so you can get a list of providers that are accepting new patients .