Keeping Fans’ Blood Pressure in Check

By Doug Bardwell – American Red Cross volunteer

It’s June again, and Cavs fans blood pressures are rising.  It could have to do with missed free throws.  It might be due to poor calls by the selectively blind referees. Or it could be due to an opponent overly adept at shooting three-point baskets from obscene distances.

In any event, it’s NBA Finals time and collectively our blood pressures are on the rise…. which is not a good thing.

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Hopefully, this situation will improve shortly; but high blood pressure can be caused by a number of other factors, and it’s something that definitely needs to be monitored.

Some symptoms of dangerously high blood pressure include:

  • Severe headache
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Problems with your vision
  • Throbbing in your chest, ears or neck

If you notice these symptoms, it’s wise to seek a doctor’s help quickly. Extreme blood pressure problems could cause a stroke or heart disease.

Remedies for high blood pressure (for other than NBA-induced causes) include:

  • Adopting a healthy diet
  • Regularly exercising
  • Losing weight
  • Reducing sodium in the diet
  • Cutting back on caffeine
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting use of alcohol
  • Reducing stress

One other thing everyone can do is to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.  How about every eight weeks for example?

That’s how often you can donate blood, and each time you donate, you’ll get a mini-checkup from your friendly Blood Services professional at the donation site.  Iron levels and blood pressure are always checked before you donate, so you won’t develop a problem without being alerted.dougdonating

Give yourself plenty of time to get to your donation location, as blood pressure can rise needlessly if you are stressed about being late to your appointment. Fortunately, in a case like that, sitting quietly for 10-15 minutes should bring you right back to normal levels, and your pressure can be checked a second time.

To schedule your regular eight-week appointment, log on to redcrossblood.org and pick a convenient date and location. Or, you can do it quickly from the Red Cross Blood Donor App for your Android or iOS phone.