The facts about blood pressure

Tue, Oct 9, 2018

Advice by Drs. Gregory Thom (left) and James Offord of The Vascular Specialists at Aurora BayCare: Maintain a healthy blood pressure to avoid future health issues. High blood pressure can be harmful to your body.


Keeping your blood pressure at a normal level is vital to living a healthy life. Although your blood pressure changes throughout the day, if it’s too high it can have damaging effects throughout your body.


“High blood pressure over a long period of time can cause damage to your arteries, heart, kidneys, and can even lead to stroke,” says Sarah Gottfredsen, a physician assistant with The Vascular Specialists at Aurora BayCare.


It is important to regularly check your blood pressure, know your numbers, and learn how to control it.


Blood pressure is a measurement of the force of blood flowing through your arteries. It is recorded as two numbers; systolic blood pressure (the top number); and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number). Systolic blood pressure is the amount of force on your artery walls when your heart is contracting. Diastolic blood pressure is the amount of force on your artery walls when your heart is relaxed between beats.


Blood pressure is typically divided into three categories: normal, elevated and hypertension (high blood pressure).



  • If your blood pressure is normal, stick with a healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet and regular exercise.
  • If your blood pressure is elevated, take steps to improve your numbers. Balanced diets that are low in sodium and regular exercise, such as daily walking, can help. If you smoke, take steps to quit.
  • If your blood pressure is high, your doctor may make lifestyle changes as discussed above. Your doctor may discuss starting you on medications to lower your blood pressure.

The only way to know whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked.


Almost half of all Americans have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Many do not know they have it.


“High blood pressure is considered a silent killer as most people with hypertension do not have symptoms,” Gottfredsen says. “Regularly checking your blood pressure is the best way to know if you have hypertension.”


Sarah Gottfredsen is a physician assistant with Aurora BayCare General & Vascular Surgery and The Vascular Specialists at Aurora BayCare in Green Bay.




About BayCare Clinic

BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With its 100-plus physicians, BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, serving clinical locations in 13 regional communities. Based in Green Bay, Wis., BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center.


About Aurora BayCare Medical Center

Aurora BayCare Medical Center is a 167-bed, full-service tertiary care hospital located at 2845 Greenbrier Road on Green Bay’s east side. It opened in September 2001 as a joint venture of Aurora Health Care and BayCare Clinic.  Aurora BayCare is committed to creating a better way to provide high quality tertiary healthcare, the latest in medical technology and superior service.

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