Blood Pressure....What's The Big Deal?

Why is it that within the first 5 minutes of sitting down in a patient room in either a doctors office or urgent care clinic there is someone right there taking your blood pressure?  What's the big deal?  The big deal is that everyone has blood pressure.  If your blood pressure is to low or to high, then the doctor has some serious considerations to make regarding your visit to the office that day.

I like to look at blood pressure with the same view that I look at water pressure in a house.  If the water pressure is to high in the pipes in my house I need to decrease the pressure some how before the pipes break, the faucet mechanism is destroyed, or the water pump burns out.  I can either turn down the pump feeding water to the house, I can put in larger pipes, or I can open up the faucet and let some of the water out of the pipes.  All three will decrease the pressure, however, it takes some evaluation to decide which mechanism will be the most effective in any given situation.

If I don't have a routine for regularly checking the pressure in my pipes, I won't know the pressure is to high until either the faucet blows out, the pipes break, or the pump burns up.  Just the same, if I am not vigilant at checking my own blood pressure, (or having it checked regularly) I won't know that the pressure is getting higher until I have a problem.

Just like our plumbing system, we have a circulatory system comprised of a pump (the heart), pipes (blood vessels), and a faucet (our kidneys).  We also have medications that will decrease how much blood our heart pumps, medications that will relax our blood vessels and medications that will increase the flow of fluid out of our kidneys. All three will decrease our blood pressure, however, the doctor needs to evaluate the entire system to see which mechanism is best in any given situation.

If high blood pressure is left untreated, the blood vessels will begin to harden and this will eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke.  Increased blood pressure will also damage the blood vessels that supply the retina with blood and lead to vision problems.  Furthermore, the filtering cells in the kidneys will become damaged an will lead to kidney failure.  Lastly, the heart will tire from pumping against the increased pressure and eventually lead to heart failure.

Please, if you haven't had your blood pressure checked within the last 6 months check your blood pressure today.  You may either use your own blood pressure machine, stop by a phrmacy where there is an automated machine, or visit your doctors office and have it checked.
If you would like to learn more about any medications used for blood pressure, please visit and register to become a member.  You will then have full access to all of the Medicatioin Specfic Counseling SessionsTM for a full five years.

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