Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some kind of warning system on our body to let us know when things aren’t working properly? A little blinking red light that could come on when a system is malfunctioning. Fortunately, we do have an alarm system, it just doesn’t come with the bells and whistles. We just need to learn how to understand the indicators that come standard with our blood pressure system.
Hypertension – A Warning Sign
Hypertension, more commonly known as High Blood Pressure (HBP), has long been referred to as a “silent killer.” This can be misleading, because often the HBP is an indicator that a system in our body is not working properly. So, what exactly is HBP and how is it a silent alarm?
The heart and circulatory system are like a hand pump attached to a flexible, expandable system of hoses. After each time the pump pushes fluid out through the system at a higher (systolic) pressure, it then relaxes to allow the fluid to flow back into the pump at a lower (diastolic) pressure. If there is something preventing enough fluid getting through the system, the pump works harder and pushes at a higher pressure to compensate for the deficiency.
Listening to Your Body
There are a wide range of diseases that can trigger the HBP alarm system that may not present obvious health problems. Fortunately, there are many ways to check and track your blood pressure and consult your body mechanic (doctor) to find the problem. You can get a blood pressure reading in many pharmacies and home blood pressure monitors are reasonably priced and easy to use.
Some of the more common diseases that use the blood pressure alarm are:
- Heart disease – as the heart muscle weakens, stretches, or mis-fires, it works harder to pump blood through the system. If it still isn’t pumping sufficiently, fluid can pool in extremities, which shows up as swollen ankles and hands.
- Kidney disease or infections – kidneys are our circulatory fluid filters. If they are clogged, more junk remains in the blood. The heart tries to pump more fluid through the filters, which clogs them more and sets up a vicious cycle that can lead to kidney failure.
- Sleep Apnea or other breathing problems – If there’s not enough oxygen getting sent to all parts of the body, the heart will try to pump harder and faster to deliver what oxygen it has available.
As with any system, regular checkups are important to extend life and insure smooth function. If you haven’t had a checkup in a while, or suspect a problem, contact Rapid Immediate Care to schedule an appointment or visit one of their urgent care clinics to get your silent alarm checked.