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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.

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at www.anylabtestnow.com.