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Farmer Wellness Minute - Hypertension

By Tracy Hansen, APRN, FNP, Family Medicine

Hypertension or high blood pressure is coined the “silent killer” within the health care setting. We call it this because even though you feel fine, damage is occurring to vital organs. Think about it; increased pressure in your plumbing will eventually wreak havoc to the pump (heart), pipes (vessels) and/or filter (kidneys), among other important system components!

I was trying think of the “silent killers” in agriculture (and consulted a few experts) … we couldn’t think of one specific but came up with a few; 1) ignoring fertility over time will eventually impact yields, 2) forgetting to take care of your grain in bin storage, as you may wind up with rotten corn, or 3) ignoring swine genetics and ending up with funky mutations later.

Getting your blood pressure checked at least one time per year is important to identify hypertension. “Normal” is considered <120/<80. Family history does play a role, so elevated values may be genetic.  But, there are lots of things you can do now to keep your blood pressure low like maintaining a healthy weight, reducing salt intake, getting physical activity, getting good sleep, stop smoking if you do, limit alcohol, and control stress. If your blood pressure remains high, medications are available, as well. The medications are usually tolerated well and minimize stress to the plumbing system over time.

If you find your blood pressure is elevated or you haven’t had it checked in a while, make an appointment with us at MCMC by calling (507) 836-6153. We’d be happy to help get you on track!

Long live the farmer,

Tracy Hansen, Nurse Practitioner

If you have any comments on this article or ideas to address in this publication, email me at

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