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Learn How to Manage Your BP Levels!

Why checking your blood pressure is so important.    

It is estimated that nearly half of adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. With the added stress and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, doctors are noticing even higher numbers across the board.

High blood pressure is the major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. It’s now also the most common risk factor for severe complications and death in those with COVID-19.

High blood pressure is considered a “silent killer” because it doesn’t always present obvious symptoms to indicate something is wrong.

Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. The first step in managing your blood pressure is to know your levels.

A normal blood pressure level is less than 120/80 mmHg. The first number in a blood pressure reading, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.

A significant number of U.S. adults have become candidates for blood pressure medication or other treatment since stricter guidelines were implemented in late 2017. The stricter standard, the first major change in blood pressure guidelines in 14 years, redefined a reading of high blood pressure as 130/80, down from 140/90. An increasing number of adults under the age of 45 are now hypertensive.

If you find that your blood pressure is consistently elevated, keep a diary and invest in a home blood pressure cuff. Get in the habit of checking your blood pressure at least once a month. If it’s elevated, check it more frequently.

There are also blood test panels you can get done outside of the doctor’s office to detect conditions that may cause high blood pressure to worsen and to evaluate and monitor organ function over time.

A cholesterol panel is recommended for anyone who has high blood pressure. High cholesterol has long been linked to high blood pressure. If your arteries become hardened and narrowed with cholesterol plaque and calcium, the heart strains much harder to pump blood through them. As a result, your blood pressure becomes abnormally high.

Potassium, along with other electrolytes like sodium and chloride, helps to regulate the acid and base balance in the body. Each heart muscle needs the right balance of potassium to beat in a coordinated way with all the other heart muscles. If you have high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias or have had heart failure, it is especially important to get enough potassium. A potassium test can help you monitor your levels.

A cortisol test is another option. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide variety of processes in your body, including metabolism and immune response. It also is very important in helping your body respond to stress.

Although cortisol is critical for our survival, too much cortisol is damaging to the body and can cause increased blood pressure and damage to the heart.

Test Your Levels

Any Lab Test Now offers these tests and more to help you manage your blood pressure more effectively. No doctor’s prescription is ever needed for any blood work at Any Lab Test Now and neither is an appointment. We have convenient locations and hours to fit your busy schedule.

If you are concerned about your safety coming into a testing site, you can be at ease knowing Any Lab Test Now provides you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 185+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life.

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Got High Blood Pressure? You Could Be Putting Yourself at Risk

“High blood pressure,” also known as hypertension, is a phrase we hear all too often in the American medical landscape. So much so, in fact, that the words have become normalized as something you will most likely hear at least once throughout the course of your lifetime. According to the CDC, one in three American adults has high blood pressure, and only about half of those with high blood pressure have the condition under control. This is dangerous news as high blood pressure, often dubbed “the silent killer,” is capable of wreaking havoc on your health. It often has no warning signs or symptoms, but can set you up for an endless list of problems, including the No. 1 cause of death in the United States: heart disease.

The Silent Killer

If high blood pressure presents no signs or symptoms in most people, how can you know if you have it? The best way to keep tabs on your health is to regularly check your blood pressure with the help of a medical expert. By monitoring your blood pressure levels on a regular basis, you can be better prepared to take the steps toward lowering your blood pressure if necessary. If left untreated, your high blood pressure could be opening you up to a whole host of dangerous and even deadly health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure can cause a number of disabilities if left unchecked. Lack of blood flow to various areas of the body can cause harm to those areas, leaving them with permanent damage. One common result of untreated hypertension is vision impairment or blindness due to blood vessel damage in the eyes.
  • Poor Quality of Life. Not only is high blood pressure dangerous, but it can make your life more difficult on a daily basis. Left untreated, high blood pressure can cause cognitive impairment, dementia and memory problems, nerve damage, bone loss, sleep apnea and even sexual dysfunction.
  • Untreated hypertension can lead to an aneurysm due to damaged arteries, heart failure, heart attack and stroke. It can also cause damage to the kidneys, resulting in kidney scarring and kidney failure.

Consider all of the ways in which these could impact your life as you know it. Untreated high blood pressure could mean not being able to drive and losing the independence of getting yourself around. It could mean that you have trouble remembering your grandchild’s birthday. Worse yet, it could force you to say goodbye to your loved ones too soon. Get tested before it’s too late.

Take Control of Your Health

If you are worried about having high blood pressure, the best thing you can do is get your blood pressure tested. Once you know your numbers, you can take the necessary actions toward improving your health. This would include scheduling regular check-ups with your doctor, and asking about the changes you can make to keep your blood pressure at a safe and healthy level.

Any Lab Test Now offers several options for blood pressure testing and monitoring, including the Basic Check-Up Panel and other Health & Wellness Tests. Nothing is more important than your health. Don’t allow your high blood pressure to put your health at risk. Talk with the experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn what testing options are right for you, and take the steps towards preventing this silent killer.