“I can literally feel my blood pressure rising.” We’ve often heard the expression from folks who get annoyed at the noise from a neighbor’s noisy leafblower, a bad bit of TV news or just a harmless prank by co-workers – but this innocuous comment can be a signal of a serious problem. As we get older, our blood vessels can harden and constrict blood flow, leading to a whole slate of poor health effects – not least of which can be the onset of vascular dementia, the second-most common form of dementia after Alzheimers. If your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients, brain cells can become damaged or even die off. That’s bad news all around.
Even worse, unless you’ve been to a doctor, you may not know you have hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure. You can have it and be symptom-free for years! In the meantime, not knowing there’s a problem, you may not change your lifestyle to slow down or reverse the effects. Is your blood pressure reading below 120 over 80? If you don’t know, it’s time to get yourself checked. Continue reading