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High blood pressure is a condition that may seem harmless at first glance, but taking it seriously is an indicator of better health.
The heart acts like a pump that circulates blood inside the body. It receives and evacuates blood in your arteries. When your heart contracts, it pumps blood into your arteries. Normally, these vessels are able to take the pressure and control it thanks to their elasticity.
In people with high blood pressure, the arteries shrink and lose their elasticity. When the heart contracts, the blood that’s pumped exerts heavier pressure inside the arteries, thus increasing the arterial blood pressure.
Blood pressure is measured two ways, as systolic and diastolic pressures, e.g. written as 120/80 mmHg. Systolic pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading, i.e. 120) measures blood pressure when the heart contracts and pumps blood into the blood vessels. Diastolic pressure (the second number in a blood pressure reading, i.e. 80) measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest.
The table below can help you interpret your blood pressure measurements. Generally, we can summarize by saying that, the higher your blood pressure, the higher the risks to your health. Ask your doctor what blood pressure measurements you should be aiming for and how to interpret your results.
Most people who suffer from high blood pressure do not feel any symptoms. Sometimes, they may experience certain symptoms:
CAUTION, high blood pressure is a silent disease. The absence of symptoms does not mean you are in good health or that your blood pressure is under control. Only your pressure readings can tell you where you stand.
Treatment includes lifestyle changes and taking medication. Develop good habits such as:
The CAUTION HYPERTENSION program is a blood pressure management program. This program, which is only offered at Jean Coutu, is intended for people who have, or are at risk of developing, high blood pressure (such as diabetes sufferers). Owing to an automated device that measures blood pressure (available in-pharmacy), and to the CAUTION HYPERTENSION memory card, you can safely store your blood pressure data on our website. You can then access them at any time, or have a Jean Coutu affiliated pharmacist or your doctor access them.
Speak to your pharmacist if you have any questions about high blood pressure or the CAUTION HYPERTENSION program.
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