May 17, 2016

May World Health Awareness Days

May 17 is World Hypertension Day. May 20 is World Autoimmune Arthritis Day.

World Hypertension Day
World Hypertension Day is an initiative of the International Society of Hypertension and the World Hypertension League. Its goal is to raise awareness about preventing and controlling hypertension, also called high blood pressure. This year’s theme is Know Your Numbers.

Blood pressure in your arteries is usually measured as one number over the other, for example 120/80, which is considered normal.
• The higher number (120), called systolic pressure, is the pressure when your heart beats and pumps blood into your arteries.
• The lower pressure (80), called diastolic pressure, is the pressure when your heart relaxes between beats.

What’s considered high blood pressure depends on the individual and various health factors, but 140/90 is generally considered high. Because high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, it’s important to know your blood pressure numbers. On World Hypertension Day, get your blood pressure checked. Use a blood pressure machine at a local pharmacy, where you can speak to the pharmacist about your results, or make an appointment to see your doctor.

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day is an initiative of the International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis (IFAA). Its goal is to raise awareness about autoimmune arthritis. According to the foundation, the term refers to “autoimmune, inflammatory diseases that heavily involve the joints, but also affect tissues and organs.”

Autoimmune arthritis is caused by immune system malfunctions that lead the body to attack its own joints and tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis are common examples of autoimmune arthritis.

See your doctor if you have any of these potential symptoms of autoimmune arthritis.

  • six weeks or more of pain in one or more joints that can’t be explained by injury or other condition
  • severe body stiffness that’s worse after rest or inactivity
  • soft tissue pain
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • flu-like symptoms (nausea, muscle weakness, general unwellness)

To learn more about hypertension, see the IFAA website.

For more posts like these, visit the Physical Wellness page.