Friday, March 22, 2013

It's all about the numbers.

I had a doctor's appointment this morning.  It was mostly to follow up with my low iron count.  For the last two years, I've had blood drawn to check the health of my red blood cells.  This number should be somewhere between 50 - 150.  For the last year, mine has hovered at 39.  Two years ago, I was at 21.

But today, 122!  Woohoo!  Triple digits!

Another number that went up... my blood pressure.  It was actually slightly elevated in December.  It was even higher today.  My doctor wants me to stop by his office 2-3 times a week for the next six weeks, to have my blood pressure checked.

Today's numbers 118 over 98.  The 118 is a really good top number.  The 98 is NOT a good bottom number.

I have to admit, I'm not all that familiar with the intricacies of blood pressure numbers.  So, I did some research.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA)...

The top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).
The bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).

A 118 Systolic reading is perfectly normal.  Above 120 starts the prehypertension category.  But a 98 Diastolic reading is considered Hypertension Level 1.  Above 100 is Hypertension Level 2.  The only level above that comes at 110, which is Hypertension Crisis.

So, hopefully between lowering my salt intake, increasing my water intake, sleeping better, working out regularly, and losing some weight, I can get my blood pressure into a more acceptable range.  And I have six weeks to make a difference.  After that, my doctor wants more blood work to make a decision on how to treat my high blood pressure.

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