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You can't see or feel changes in your blood pressure, so you may wonder why this simple reading is such a big deal. The answer is that measuring your blood pressure gives your doctor a better understanding of your circulatory system's health. A high number means that you have hypertension, or high blood pressure, which could indicate that your heart is working overtime to pump blood through your body. This extra work can result in a weaker heart muscle and potential organ damage down the road.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle — which means cutting back on salt, shedding excess pounds, not smoking, and maintaining a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — is the cornerstone of blood pressure management. If you don't have diabetes or damage to the heart, brain, kidneys, or eyes, lifestyle changes alone may be enough to bring a high blood pressure reading into the normal range.
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Primary Care of Southwest Georgia-Blakely is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n)