March News: The UPS & DOWNS of Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure and Stroke Risk

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause your brain’s blood vessels to become damaged and weakened. As a result they narrow, rupture or leak resulting in stroke. Blood clots can also result from high blood pressure potentially blocking blood flow to the brain.

When blood flow to an area of brain is cut off, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, your memory and muscle control can be lost. Stroke is serious and can disable you for life or cause death.

The good news is that there are many medicines that will treat high blood pressure. Lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can also help bring down blood pressure.

Clinician in white gloves measures blood pressure.

Controlling your blood pressure is important to lower your risk of stroke.


What is Blood Pressure?

Blood is carried throughout our bodies, by way of veins and arteries in our circulatory system. Blood pressure is the force and rate of the heartbeat and the diameter/elasticity of the arterial walls.

How is Blood Pressure measured?

Blood pressure is measured using 2 numbers: systolic and diastolic. Systolic measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats. Diastolic measures the pressure in blood vessels between beats when the heart is resting.


High Blood Pressure Table of Systolic and Diastolic Measures

Check this table to see where your blood pressure falls.






A sphygmomanometer is used to measure blood pressure. A cuff is inflated around the upper arm till circulation stops. A small valve is opened to slowly deflate the cuff. Using a stethoscope, the clinician can hear the blood pulsing through the arteries. The first rushing sound is referred to as the systolic pressure. The last sound is the diastolic pressure. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of Mercury (mmHg) and is recorded as 120/80.

Nurse-clinician takes blood pressure reading of senior woman in medical office.

Routine monitoring of your blood pressure will help your doctor treat to avoid stroke.

Important Routine Monitoring

Regular monitoring and documenting the blood pressure is important. High blood pressure manifests no symptoms but can lead to heart attack and stroke. A high blood pressure measure indicates to your doctor that he may want to treat to lower it. Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension.


Smiling senior woman in fitness training with dumbbells

Your blood pressure can be positively affected with proper exercise! Check with your doctor!

What Can I Do to Control High Blood Pressure?

Maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise regularly.

Take your blood pressure medicine as prescribed.

March is Social Workers Month!

Medical social workers, sometimes called case managers, provide support and resources to patients recovering from illness or injury. First an assessment is done to identify patient needs. The social worker meets with the patient’s family and health providers to coordinate an individualized discharge plan for in-home care, therapy, medical equipment, transportation, counseling or other follow-up treatments.

Ask AW Health Care about post-stroke home health and therapy services. (314) 330-7992

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