Check. Change. Control.
When it comes to blood pressure, what you don’t know can definitely hurt you. Many of the 80 million American adults who have it don’t know they have it. It has no symptoms. It can only be reliably diagnosed by a healthcare professional using a blood pressure monitor. Once diagnosed, it can’t be cured; but it can be controlled, which requires daily attention. It’s rampant among African-Americans. Left undiagnosed, it can lead to strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure.
Based on the premise that “healthier blood pressure sometimes takes a community,” the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association created the Check. Change. Control. program. It uses health mentors to help people with high blood pressure do what they need to do to control it — eat right, be active, visit their doctor and take their medication. The mentors are local volunteers, sometimes family members, who are trained to encourage participants to monitor their blood pressure and stay consistent with their plan for controlling it.
If your community does not have Check. Change. Control. yet, don’t let that stop you from discovering and monitoring your blood pressure numbers. You can get your numbers at no cost at many places in your community, and you can enroll yourself in Heart360. AHA has extensive blood pressure information online.
Kenneth Mathews describes things he has done to live a healthier life.