Explaining Hypertension and Diabetes

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Explaining hypertension to a 63-year old man with an 8th grade education:
Hello sir, the doctor wanted me to come in and talk to you for a minute. I understand that u have just been diagnosed with hypertension. I want to make sure you understand what that is and what goes along with it. Hypertension is just our fancy word for high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the amount of pressure that your blood is putting on the walls of your arteries. Now most people don’t even realize they have high blood pressure because more often than not, there are no signs or symptoms going along with it. Now, when checking your blood pressure we put on the blood pressure cuff and then we listen for your heart beat. There are two stages we get, one is as we release the pressure of the cuff, at a certain pressure we will hear your heart beat, and we record the pressure level, and that’s called systolic. As the pressure continues to be released, we can no longer hear your heart beat, and we record that pressure level, and that’s called diastolic. Normal blood pressure is about 120 over 80 or 120 systolic and 80 diastolic. Now there is something going on that either your body is unable to tell your brain that there is a problem here and your blood pressure is too high OR your body is just unable to control it on its own, so a medication will be used to help correct the problem. So what happens if you don’t take your medicine and you let this go untreated? Well, nothing good. Your high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, aneurysm (you get a bulge in your arteries and it blows up like a balloon), heart failure, vision loss, kidney could shut down, and the list goes on. Explaining diabetes to a 13-year old middle school honors student:

Hey, what’s up? The doctor wanted me to come in and talk to you for a minute. I understand that the doctor has just diagnosed you with diabetes. I want to make sure you understand what that is and what goes along with it....
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