Circulatory System Health
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is called a “silent killer” because it does not cause symptoms unless it is severely high and without your knowing it. Hypertension causes major organ damage and risk of stroke if left untreated.
Get your blood pressure checked at least annually. There is no need for an appointment and no cost to get it checked at the Student Health Center.
High blood cholesterol is common and mostly preventable. There are two types of cholesterol: High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is considered the good cholesterol, and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is considered the bad cholesterol.
LDL can build up in your blood vessels causing poor, turbulent blood flow and a risk for heart attack or stroke. Being overweight, inactive and eating a diet high in saturated and trans-fat contributes to a low HDL and a high LDL. Genetics may also play a role in the level of your blood cholesterol.
Beginning at age 20, you should get your cholesterol checked every five years. Eating a diet high in whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables and certain fish helps control cholesterol. Regular exercise will help to control weight and cholesterol levels. Alcohol and smoking will increase LDL levels.
You can get your cholesterol checked at the Student Health Center for a small fee.