Healthy Communities

Manage High Blood Pressure

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is how hard your blood pushes against the walls of your arteries when your heart pumps blood. Arteries are the tubes that carry blood away from your heart. Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood through your arteries to the rest of your body.

Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but can damage your heart and cause health problems if it stays high for too long (also known as hypertension).

Do You Have High Blood Pressure? Know Your Numbers.

The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it tested. Understanding those results can help you manage or control high blood pressure.

According to the American Heart Association, these are healthy and unhealthy blood pressure ranges (click on the chart below for more information):

Blood Pressure Categories

 

It is important that people with high blood pressure monitor their blood pressure regularly. Being aware of your numbers can alert you to any changes or patterns.

Ask a doctor or nurse to check your blood pressure at your next visit. Write down your blood pressure numbers so you'll remember them.

You can also find blood pressure machines at many shopping malls, pharmacies, and grocery stores. Most of these machines are free to use. 

If you want to check your blood pressure at home, you can buy a home blood pressure monitor at a drug store. 

Measuring Blood Pressure at Home

How to use a home blood pressure monitor:

Reference
American Heart Association

If You Have High Blood Pressure, What Should You Do Next?

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, and you have healthcare coverage, check with your provider to see what resources are available to you.

Here are some additional resources, where you can get help. Remember, you are not alone!

Team-based care that includes you, your doctor, and other health care providers can help reduce and control blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medications and lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes are just as important as medications. Follow your doctor’s instructions and stay on your medications. Do not stop taking your medications before talking to your doctor or pharmacist. All drugs may have side effects, so talk to your doctor regularly. As your blood pressure improves, your doctor will check it often.

Lifestyle Coaches

The ADH has Lifestyle Coaches in every region of the state. Lifestyle Coaches have been trained to help you set and meet goals to live a healthier life. You will learn to:

Hypertension Nurse Managers

Some Local Health Units have Care Managers who can work with your healthcare provider to help you manage your high blood pressure. They will assist you with your medicines, checking your blood pressure, and lifestyle changes.

If you are interested in working with a Care Manager or Lifestyle Coach to manage your high blood pressure, call Be Well Arkansas or fill out the online form below to request services.

Medication Therapy Management (MTM)

If you have health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, you may be taking a lot of medicines. To make sure you are getting the best results from your medicines, Medication Therapy Management (MTM) is a program offered by many pharmacies to help make sure the prescription drugs you're taking are working for you. It also helps us identify any potential problems.

Medication Therapy Management (MTM) pharmacists work closely with you and your doctors to help you get the best results from taking your medicines and make sure there are no problems. They will review the medicines you are taking and answer any questions you may have. An MTM pharmacist will make sure that:

To find a MTM near you, click here or click on the map below.

MTM Map

 

Make Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can help you control your blood pressure.

Diet. Eat a healthy diet that is:

Be active. Try taking a brisk 10-minute walk 3 times a day 5 days a week.

Do not smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.

Reference
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 
 
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Arkansas Department of Health
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