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Dr. Ghayth Hammad: What's Your Blood Pressure?

Have the stresses of COVID-19 affected your blood pressure? Statistics have shown that stress can increase your blood pressure.  We recently wrote an article focusing on "knowing your numbers". One of the important numbers to know is your blood pressure readings. Nearly half of American adults are diagnosed with high blood pressure. Most of the time people do not exhibit symptoms which is why hypertension is known as the "silent killer."  When left untreated, the damage that high blood pressure does to your circulatory system is a significant contributing factor to heart attack, stroke, or other heart related events. Things such as lifestyle, family history, sleep apnea, and obesity can affect your blood pressure readings. When monitoring your home blood pressure, the cuff you use is very important. We do not encourage monitoring to be done by wrist cuffs. These have been found not to be accurate. We do encourage monitoring to be done with arm cuffs. We also encourage you to bring the device you use with your during your physical so that this can be checked and compared with the manual reading taken at your appointment.  

If diagnosed with hypertension these five things will likely be implemented into your plan of care to better control your numbers:

-Maintain a healthy weight. Strive for a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and    24.9.

-Eat healthier. Eat lots of fruit, veggies and low-fat dairy, and less saturated and total fat.

-Reduce sodium. Ideally, stay under 1,500 mg a day, but aim for at least a 1,000 mg per day reduction. 

-Get active. Aim for at least 90 to 150 minutes of aerobic and/or dynamic resistance exercise per week and/or three sessions of isometric resistance exercises per week. 

-Limit alcohol. Drink no more than 1-2 drinks a day. (One for most women, two for most men.)

Listed on the chart are the stages of hypertension. Where do you fall? If you feel your blood pressure is not controlled let us help. Schedule an appointment with us by calling 270-526-9652 or visit our website at


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