“So, what’s the big deal???”

Why it is bad to not take your prescribed High Blood Pressure medicines.

What’s the big deal if you don’t take your high blood pressure medicine(s) the way your doctor prescribed? Before we get to the reason why, there are two other things you need to know that will help you understand why it is a big deal. The first thing is “What is high blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension (HTN)”? The second thing is “Why is it so bad?”

So, what is High Blood Pressure (HBP)? Better yet, what is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force that your blood puts against the walls of your arteries, which are strong, flexible, elastic tubes that allow blood that your heart pumps to reach all the vital organs in your body such as: the brain, kidneys, and liver. (Click this link to learn more: https://youtu.be/X9ZZ6tcxArI .) Blood pressure is stated as two numbers separated by a slash (ex. 120/80). The top number, always the higher of the two, is called the systolic blood pressure (SBP) and it measures the force of the blood when the heart squeezes. The bottom number, always the lower of the two, is called the diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and it measures the force of the blood while the heart is relaxing before its next contraction or squeeze.

Now getting back to our main question – “What is HBP?” According to the authority on this subject, the American Heart Association (AHA), HBP is when your SBP is between 140-159 or your DBP is between 90-99. However, there are categories of HBP. To know which one you belong to, the following link to the AHA’s chart can help you find out. Click here to determine your category:

http://static.squarespace.com/static/53aca4e8e4b00c6e20d7cfc6/t/547f7d4de4b0dc44e166b549/1417641293491/.

I hope all this information has helped to answer the question of what is HBP. Now let’s find out why it’s so bad.

High Blood Pressures is bad … very bad. But why? To make a long answer short, it will make your life very difficult. HBP is known as a silent killer because you don’t know you have it until you do. So, let’s find out why it can make your life difficult. Over time, the high pressure of blood surging through your arteries will not only damage the arteries, but it will damage your vital organs as well. Your arteries and vital organs were made to handle a certain amount of pressure most of the time, but high pressure some of the time. However, high pressure all the time will weaken your arteries and vital organs and they will begin to breakdown much sooner than they otherwise might have. Damaged organs will make your life difficult because it will take much more effort to do many of the things you enjoy. More importantly, it will make the things you do on a daily basis just to live more difficult as well. For example, daily chores will take you longer to do. Or you might not finish them at all and they’ll begin to pile up with no end in sight! Here’s another one … imagine having those moments of pure joy playing with your grandkids fade into moments of extreme tiredness and pain all over. You would feel like you let them down … not a good feeling at all. Do you want everything to become a hassle?

I hope by now you’re convinced that taking your HBP medicine(s) as your doctor prescribed is a big deal and a wise thing to do. However, if you’re still not convinced or still don’t understand why, then you will by end of this blog.

The bottom line is that your HBP med(s) keep your blood at a normal pressure, which helps to lessen the damage to your arteries and vital organs. The less damaged your arteries and vital organs are, the more enjoyable your life will be. It’s really that simple. Despite this simplicity, many people still don’t take their HBP med(s) the way they’re supposed to. Surprisingly, it’s not that they don’t want to (although some just don’t want to), it’s because they plain forget. This is understandable, but it can become a bad habit. And we all know that bad habits die hard. However, where there is a problem or challenge, there is a solution. So, here are a few solutions (in the form of apps) to help you out.

For iOS there is:
Mango (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mango-health-medication-manager/id560657279?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4) and CareZone (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/carezone-organize-health-information/id829841726?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4).

For Android there is:
MediSafe Meds and Pill Reminder (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.medisafe.android.client) and CareZone (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.carezone.caredroid.careapp.medications).

Try out one or both apps on your smartphone to see which one works best for you. Now, there might be better apps out there, so if you know of any, please let us know because we would love to share your discoveries with the rest of our readers. Thank you for joining us on our blog and we hope you will join us next month too!

Stay informed and stay healthy!

Submitted by Junaid Mian
MCHS Staff Pharmacist

References:
Hypertension – Care Guide. (2016, January 23). Retrieved January 23, 2016, from http://www.drugs.com/cg/hypertension.html
High blood pressure (hypertension). (2016, January 23). Retrieved January 23, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/definition/con-20019580
Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. (2016, January 23). Retrieved January 23, 2016, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp#.VqP-GfGctjs
The Heart, part 1 – Under Pressure: Crash Course A&P #25. (2015, July 6). Retrieved January 23, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9ZZ6tcxArI
Appcrawler. (2016, January 23). Retrieved January 23, 2016, from http://appcrawlr.com/app/search?go=go

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