Michelle Rupp: Hello and welcome into this week’s edition of AFMC TV. We’re glad you’re here. Joining us today is Dr Beth Milligan, one of the doctors here at AFMC. And we are talking about hypertension. Otherwise known as high blood pressure. High Dr. Beth how are you today? Dr. DR. Beth Milligan: I’m fine. Thank you.

MR: So high blood pressure. May is Hypertension Awareness Month. So, I guess my first question would be, how do we know if we have high blood pressure? Is it something that we could tell internally, or do we need a doctor’s diagnosis?

BM: Well, Michelle, high blood pressure is silent. Most Americans when they started out. Had no idea they had high blood pressure. You usually don’t have a lot of symptoms initially on. And it’s actually discovered by routine medical visits when you go to see your doctor.

MR: So, another reason why those checkups are so very important. So, what are some symptoms of high blood pressure?

BM: Well, you know, after you find out you have high blood pressure, then you’re going to realize that sometimes those headaches you’re having unusual fatigue would probably due to the high blood pressure being untreated for so long. And at that point you’ll notice other things. I personally have high blood pressure and when my pressure I’ve learned to feel when my pressure would get up. I’d feel my head would be unusual headaches that I wouldn’t normally have, or blurry vision and those things are really reasons that you do need to see somebody. So, you need to learn to read your body symptoms.

MR: What are some of the effects of high blood pressure, particularly if it is left untreated.

BM: But that’s a good question. You know when your blood pressure is left untreated. One of the reasons we’ve learned is that that blood is just pounding, pounding through the kidneys and through the heart and we don’t want that to happen. So that’s when we use medications to lower it. If you don’t do it or your noncompliant, you’ve been told to take your medicine saying you choose not to because you feel better off of them. That’s when you start having problems with your kidneys with your eyes and with your heart because that that literally that pressure of that pounding blood on those organs is just too much for them.

MR: So, we generally associate or at least I associate high blood pressure with older adults. But is this something that Children or teens, youth could even develop?

BM: Well, interesting question. I actually had high blood pressure as a younger person and initially I didn’t know but a routine doctor’s visit found out that I had it. But yes, we’re discovering that our Children as they become heavier for more sedentary issues can develop high blood pressure much younger and it’s an issue that that the medical uh pediatricians are seeing this a lot more in their younger people.

MR: So, one I guess one way to maybe alleviated at least for the kiddos is to kind of watch that diet but make sure that we’re getting exercise.

BM: And it’s the same answers that you have for your youth. Are your young people that anxious that would give to me or are older people is we need to be more active, and you’ve done these topics that need to get up and walk around and not sit all day long, the need to be more common, you know, conscientious of what you’re eating, you’re adding salt to things. I’ve been guilty of that. I’ll add salt before I taste the food and that’s such a bad habit and the need to be more healthier weights. Obviously, we found that people who are able to get some of the weight off their blood pressure’s actually start to improve. So, there’s a lot of benefits from modifying and learning to be healthier.

MR: I’m so glad you mentioned that because I was curious if a person is diagnosed with high blood pressure, can it be reversed maybe through diet and exercise?

BM: You know, Michelle, high blood pressure is a chronic medical condition. So, we found that you really can’t cure it, but you can manage it. So, one of two things you can either have to take blood pressure medications and that’s okay if you have to, I do to get it under control. But also, the lifestyle changes we’ve found as people lose weight and become more healthier. They can actually come off the blood pressure medications, which some people may view as curing it, however you’re technically not curing it, but you’re definitely improving your lifestyle and your longevity.

MR: Okay Dr. Beth anything else you’d like to add?

BM: I would like to say that you shouldn’t be afraid of giving the diagnosis because I personally have it and I think being able to get control of your blood pressure would decrease the more dangerous things like having a stroke, which I had a stroke. So, I actually want to keep my blood pressure under strict control. So, I actually remain healthy and feeling better. So don’t be afraid. Don’t be embarrassed to get that diagnosis on it and get on top of it and control it before it’s too late.

MR: Alright, great advice, Dr. Milligan, thank you so much for joining us.