Naah Allotey Talks About the Importance of Keeping a Pulse on Your Blood Pressure

From the time she was young, Naah Allotey was always passionate about one thing above all others: healthcare.

She's currently working as a nurse practitioner at Harlem Hospital in New York City - the largest facility of its type in the area. Prior to that, she worked with a plethora of other highly-regarded medical organizations, including but not limited to Korlebu Teaching Hospital in Ghana, West Africa and the esteemed Merwick Rehab Center.

Throughout her career she's done it all - from wound care to research to women's health and everything in between. During this period, one topic has come up time and again that she is eager to shed some light on: blood pressure, and why it's always critical to keep an eye on yours whenever you have the opportunity to do so.

Why Blood Pressure Matters

At its core, a person's blood pressure is exactly what it sounds like - a measurement of the force of the blood that is circulating along the walls of the arteries in their body. It is taken using two distinct measurements that, when taken together, paint a clear picture of what is actually going on.

The first is systolic, which is measured when the heart beats. This is important, because this is the time when blood pressure is at its highest. The second is diastolic, which is measured in between those beats, which is typically when blood pressure is at its lowest. 120/80 (read as "120 over 80") is considered to be an average blood pressure.

For Naah Allotey, perhaps the biggest reason why people should be keeping a pulse on their blood pressure has to do not with the numbers themselves, but with what those numbers can tell us. Tracking blood pressure helps indicate what a person's risk will be for heart disease and even stroke, for example.

If a situation like high blood pressure is allowed to go totally undetected for long periods of time, it could significantly increase a patient's risk of a heart attack as well. Consistent high blood pressure can easily damage arteries, causing them to become blocked. This prevents the appropriate amount of blood from getting to the heart at all. The same is true of the arteries and vessels that get blood to the brain. If they become blocked to a significant degree, a patient's risk of a stroke dramatically increases.

Low blood pressure is dangerous as well, but for different reasons. If your blood pressure were to suddenly drop, it could cause dizziness. In certain extreme situations, it could even cause fainting. Big drops can also be life-threatening depending on their initial cause.

Low blood pressure in particular is important to watch out for, especially if you're monitoring from home. Sometimes, people misinterpret what the numbers are trying to tell them and low blood pressure can give them a false sense of security about their overall health and wellness. All of this is why Naah Allotey believes it's so important to consistently monitor blood pressure, regardless of whether or not you're dealing with other medical conditions. 

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