Blood Pressure Testing

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When blood pressure is too high or too low, it can cause serious health consequences. Luckily, abnormal blood pressure can be managed, and most people can continue living their normal lives. If you have, or think you have, problems with your blood pressure, schedule an appointment at Vanguard Medical Group. The doctors will be happy to perform a blood pressure test as well as a regular checkup to help make sure you’re in good health.

What Happens at a Blood Pressure Test?

When you come in for a blood pressure test, the doctor or nurse will use a blood pressure monitor, which has a cuff that wraps around your arm. It’s a painless test and only lasts a few minutes. Because blood pressure checks are part of most routine appointments, you’ve probably had the test done before. However, blood pressure can change, so it’s important to check up on it frequently.

On the day of your blood pressure test, you can eat and drink regularly. You will want to avoid cigarettes as well as caffeine, as caffeine can cause your blood pressure to increase. Certain medications you take may also throw off your natural blood pressure, so be sure to tell your doctor about those when he/she asks. Also, try to wear a short-sleeve shirt so the cuff will fit better around your arm.

Understanding the Results

A blood pressure test will produce two numbers. For example, the doctor may tell you that your blood pressure is 120/80, which is healthy. If it’s higher than that, such as 140/90, then you have high blood pressure. If it’s lower, such as 90/60, then you have low blood pressure.

If you don’t hear the results you’re hoping for, don’t worry. Sometimes you can have elevated blood pressure simply because you’re nervous. The doctor will probably ask you to come back in for a second blood pressure test. If the problem continues, they may recommend diet and lifestyle changes or start you on a prescription medication.

Health Risks

If not treated, abnormal blood pressure can affect your brain, heart, eyes, kidneys and other organs. It can even lead to a heart attack or stroke. You might experience dizziness, headaches, fatigue, nosebleeds, shortness of breath and other symptoms. Not only that, but you may not be allowed to take certain medications, such as some types of birth control, or be allowed to have certain medical/dental procedures done.

Schedule a Blood Pressure Test

Make an appointment at your local Vanguard Medical Group office by phone or online today. We’ll provide the necessary testing for new and existing patients, so you can be more informed about your health and take steps toward better wellness.