Time to Check on Your Blood Pressure

  Most everyone in the area is enjoying a three or sometimes four day holiday weekend. With it comes a chance to relax and unwind. However, just because one may have a chance to relax does not mean they are out of the woods from a potential health risk. High blood pressure poses a significant risk for stroke, but low blood pressure also causes problems – and that’s why it’s important to know your numbers. 
  The American Heart Association says most people who’ve had a first stroke also had high blood pressure. For Tinika Raymond, hypertension runs in the family. 
  But when her 21-year-old son experienced dizziness and nausea that led to stroke, it was due to low blood pressure and other complications. As an African-American, she’s particularly aware of the risks.

 Two numbers represent blood pressure. The new guideline for normal blood pressure is below 120 over 80, which means numbers that stay over that average for any length of time qualify as high blood pressure.
  Hypertension damages arteries throughout the body and elevates the risk for stroke. A stroke can threaten your ability to think, move and function, affect language, vision and even cause paralysis or death. 
  Raymond says when it runs in families, earlier detection is better. 

  Raymond notes you can’t control race or age when it comes to high blood pressure, but medication combined with more walking, reduced sodium and fewer carbohydrates help her control the numbers.

  The American Heart Association says managing blood pressure is a lifelong commitment which may require those afflicted to learn how to monitor blood pressure at home.