Tag Archives: Diabetes

What Can You Do To Prevent High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the result of two forces: from the heart as it pumps blood into the arteries and throughout the circulatory system and the force of the arteries as they resist blood flow.

Elevated blood pressure is harmful to the body because it causes the heart to work harder than normal, leaving both the heart and arteries more prone to injury. High blood pressure also increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, damage to the eyes, kidney failure, atherosclerosis and congestive heart failure. High blood pressure combined with other risks, such as obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol or diabetes greatly increases the risk for heart attack or stroke.

Because there may be no hint that you have high blood pressure, it is often found when you visit your doctor for another reason or during routine physical exam.

How is Blood Pressure Measured? 

Your doctor measures your blood pressure using a special device called a Sphygmomanometer, or blood pressure cuff, to find out how hard blood is pressing against the walls of the arteries. A blood pressure reading is recorded as 2 numbers, a top number and a bottom number. The top number, the systolic blood pressure, is the pressure of blood in the arteries when the heart is at work, beating and pumping.The bottom number, the diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest, between beats.

The “silent killer “:

High blood pressure is often termed “the Silent Killer” because it usually has no symptoms.  Many people have high blood pressure for many years without knowing about it. The only way to find out if your blood pressure is elevated is to have your blood pressure checked. Here is the categories for blood pressure levels in adults according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Categories for Blood Pressure Levels in Adults (measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg)

Category Systolic
(top number)
Diastolic
(bottom number)
Normal Less than 120 And Less than 80
Prehypertension 120–139 Or 80–89
High blood pressure
Stage 1 140–159 Or 90–99
Stage 2 160 or higher Or 100 or higher

 Causes of High Blood Pressure:

The cause of high blood pressure is largely unknown, although there are certain risk factors that increase an individual’s chance for developing high blood pressure:

  • Heredity
  • Race (African Americans are more likely to develop high blood pressure)
  • Males (men have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure than women until age 55.  However, at over the age of 75, women are more likely to develop high blood pressure than men).
  • Sodium sensitivity (salt)
  • Obesity and overweight
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetics or individuals with gout or kidney disease
  • Heredity (individuals whose parents had/have high blood pressure are more at risk)
  • Age (the older people get, the more prone to high blood pressure)
  • Some medications (always tell your doctor about every medication you are taking – some medications increase blood pressure, others may interfere with the effectiveness of antihypertensive drugs)

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure:

Most patients with high blood pressure do not experience any symptoms from this condition, although some may experience headaches, dizziness or nosebleeds in the more advanced stages of the disease. Most patients receive a blood pressure reading during a routine physical exam, which is when they first learn that they have abnormal blood pressure.

Treatment for High Blood Pressure:

Treatment for high blood pressure may vary depending on the severity of the condition, as well as the patient’s age and overall health. There are several lifestyle changes that patients can make to help reduce blood pressure, including:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt and fat
  • Limit your alcohol to no more than two drinks a day
  • Become physically active
  • Take the medicine your doctor prescribes for you
  • Know what your blood pressure should be and work to keep it at that level

When lifestyle changes do not provide adequate results, medication may be prescribed to help control high blood pressure. This may include Thiazide diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors calcium channel blockers and others. Your doctor will decide which medication is best for you.

It is important for patients with high blood pressure to take active control of their condition in order to reduce the associated risks and maintain their quality of life. Working together with one of the experienced doctors at Express Urgent Care can help patients develop a personalized treatment plan that keeps you happy and healthy.

For your urgent care needs, you can walk-in to Express Healthcare, LLC clinics any day during the year. We are located on Baltimore Ave (Route 1) on exit 25 of the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495) and on Greenbelt Rd on exit 23.

high blood pressure

The 8 Must-Know Tips to Stay Hydrated During Summer

Did you know that the human body is mostly water roughly 12 gallons? That’s approximately 50 to 75% of the body’s weight. 

According to the American Diabetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, the average adult loses about 10 cups of water daily. 

That volume needs to be replenished by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. Water is essential for general health and survival.  No one needs a study to accept that conclusion. But what does demand closer scrutiny is the effect that water has on performance, as some theorize that minor dehydration is a natural part of exertion.

You’ve romped outdoors with the kids all day, and your water bottle ran dry long ago. Suddenly you feel dizzy and lightheaded, and your mouth tastes like cotton. You’re dehydrated — meaning you haven’t taken in enough fluids to replace those you’ve been sweating out. People can get dehydrated any time of year, but it’s much more common in the summer months, when they are active outdoors in the warm sun. Heatstroke is the most severe form of dehydration. That’s when your internal temperature rises to dangerously high levels. Your skin gets hot, but you stop sweating. Someone with heatstroke may pass out, have hallucinations, or suffer seizures.

One dilemma with dehydration, particularly in the summer, is separating dehydration from heat stress.  Athletes and general population exercisers have been implored to consume copious amounts of water, lest they reach a dehydrated state.  However, it is also possible that heat causes the brain to enter somewhat of a “safe mode” to prevent overheating and this may be mistakenly attributed to a loss of water.

People with diabetes can face further challenges in maintaining an adequate level of hydration in hot weather, since diabetes can lead to an increase in the body’s excretion of urine when blood glucose levels are elevated. Prevention of dehydration is essential for everyone during the hot summer months, especially when spending time outdoors. Staying well-hydrated can help prevent fluctuations in blood glucose levels as well as heat-related complications such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Drinking plenty of water may be all that is needed to offset the mild dehydration that occurs when you’re outside in the summer heat.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

  • Keeping track of how much water and water-based beverages you consume: count any frozen juice bars or icy treats.
  • Fruit juices may be diluted with water for the calorie conscious.
  • One of the first signs of dehydration is dry mouth. Carry a bottle of water around with you to take a sip whenever needed.
  • Caffeine acts as a diuretic; so caffeinated beverages can cause fluid loss.
  • Watch your urine: It should be almost clear and without smell. If it is changing then you are dehydrating.
  • Sports drinks can be a good source of electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, which help keep the body electrically balanced.
  • Stop if you get the dizzies. Feeling lightheaded during a workout is a sign of dehydration and a signal to tone it down a notch, feeling dizzy is an indicator that it’s time to hydrate.
  • Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise bout, and avoid exercising with a hangover.

Staying off of direct sun could also help to avoid heat stroke and sunburn. It might be important for some to be in large shopping mall areas where conditioning is available and access to water is easy.

Children and adults who are severely dehydrated should be treated urgently. At Express Urgent Care Clinics, we provide treatment for dehydration cases. Where patients can receive salts and fluids through a vein (intravenously) rather than by mouth. Intravenous hydration provides the body with water and essential nutrients much more quickly than oral solutions do — something that’s essential in life-threatening situations.

Walk-in today to our clinics, we are open 7 days a week.

dehydration summer pets urgent care

Water is our most important nutrient.