Hypertension, high blood pressure and even silent killer, this particular disease has been called many things but by any name, it is important. The name silent killer is used most of the time because it is a disease that usually has no symptoms. Thereby, leaving a significantly large number of people not knowing or even realizing that they have the silent killer. However, if it goes untreated, it can lead to some very harmful health issues such as strokes, organ damage, heart disease and even heart attacks. Therefore, it is very important to keep track of one’s blood pressure as Father Rutler advocated the fact that it is crucial for people especially older people to keep track of their blood pressure for health reasons. However, not just older people but people of any age can have this silent killer especially if it runs in the family and is hereditary. But, Rutler has a point to emphasize older people as many do not monitor or keep track of their blood pressure.
Plainly speaking the force or pressure that blood puts on the walls of the arteries as it flows through, is what blood pressure is and it can be measured. There are two numbers involved when measuring or taking one’s blood pressure. The numbers are the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure is the higher number that is the amount of pressure as the heart beats and the arteries are being filled with blood. The diastolic pressure is the lower number that measures the amount of pressure when the heart is resting between the beats. What is normal depends on what is normal for an individual although there is a standard norm (120/80). However, the number varies because it can change constantly depending on what an individual is doing as the reading only captures a moment in time. The fact that it constantly changes and the previous fact mentioned that it can cause health issues silently is more than enough reasons to keep track of one’s blood pressure as it is a common statement that is said and that is to “know your numbers”.
In keeping with trying to be informative about the silent killer, Father Rutler wants to point out that another reason to monitor or track one’s blood pressure and “know your numbers” is that one can be misdiagnosed. For example, at the doctor’s office one’s numbers can range on the high side overall simply because of what is called the “white coat effect”. It is somewhat common for pressure to measure high simply because one is in the doctor’s office and has a little anxiety but this could possibly lead to being diagnosed as having high blood pressure and being over prescribed. And, that is why it is important to monitor at home. Although somewhat, the reverse can happen as one could be on the high end at home which is called “masked hypertension.” In any case it is important to monitor so that better true readings can be recorded and tracked.