Fifth Ward Church of Christ Resource Center                                    

The FWCOC Resource Center is a way for members to use their gifts and talents to serve God and mankind. All resources and activities listed on the site are provided FREE of charge to residents of the greater Houston area. If you are wondering how we can offer these services free, the answer lies at the heart of what we understand as God’s directive for our lives. "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10).  The FWCOC Ministry In-Brief is our way of providing a profile of Ministries at Work.

The FWCOC Ministry In-Brief: Health and Wellness Ministry - Blood Pressure - Who, What, When, How and Where - Part I.

Have you ever thought about the true meaning of "blood pressure?" What do the numbers in a blood pressure reading mean? Which number is most important? Why is it important to control blood pressure? Here, we examine and demystify these questions during our review of blood pressure, to aid in your quest for doing God's work.

Blood Pressure - Who, What, When, How and Where- Part I

Blood pressure regulation impacts everyone, spanning all demographic groups, because controlling it is one thing all of us have in common, since proper blood flow is required for good health. Blood pressure is often taken for granted, and most people do not actually understand what it means. Many people also simply think they are fine, as long as they are not in any pain.

What is blood pressure? The National Institutes of Health define blood pressure as "The force of circulating blood on the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure is taken using two measurements: systolic (measured when the heart beats, when blood pressure is at its highest) and diastolic (measured between heart beats, when blood pressure is at its lowest).  Blood pressure is written with the systolic blood pressure first, followed by the diastolic blood pressure (for example 120/80.)"

As the definition states, blood pressure is typically denoted by numbers (such as 110/70, 120/80, or 180/110). These numbers represent ranges in blood pressure that healthcare professionals can describe as low, normal, or high.

Which number is more important? The most important number depends on a doctor’s view of the patient’s entire situation. In some cases, the systolic pressure may be high, while the diastolic is low. In other cases, both numbers are high. Some doctors look at the "mean pressure" to determine a treatment plan. In general, doctors tend to consider the top (systolic) number to be the focal point. If the top number is too high, chances are the bottom (diastolic) number is also high. While the top number is often the first to be reviewed, both are important.

Why is it important to control blood pressure? There are many consequences of uncontrolled blood pressure. Blood exerts a lot of pressure on the walls of the arteries. If tremendous pressure is put on the arteries for a prolonged time, it will lead to negative effects. Arteries may expand, or even rupture at some point, if blood pressure is not controlled. All that continuous, high-pressure pounding will cause problems down the line. Think about blowing up a balloon; as you blow, it continues to expand, and you don't know exactly when it might burst. If you maintain and control your blood pressure, the arteries can handle a certain level of pressure, an amount that is considered "normal."

Blood pressure also impacts other areas of the body, such as the eyes, kidneys, and brain. If blood pressure is uncontrolled, it can disrupt certain bodily functions and lead to stroke or heart issues, which are critical concerns. The blood vessels in the brain are not as large as those in the rest of the body. If they are consistently under excessive pressure, these vessels will rupture and a brain bleed, also known as a Hemorrhagic stroke, may occur. 

How important is limiting the amount of salt in your diet for helping to control blood pressure? Very important!

Salt tends to cause fluid retention in the body. If you have more fluid in the body than you should, it raises the blood pressure and forces the heart to work harder. If you can keep your body in balance (in a state of equilibrium or homeostasis), its systems can work together and keep blood pressure in a normal range, as defined by your physician. When fluid levels are controlled, there is also less of a burden on the kidneys. However, when excess fluid is retained, the heart must work very hard and, oftentimes, blood will pool in the ankles (this also can be caused by certain medications). For these reasons, it is critical to manage salt consumption. (To be continued in "Blood Pressure - Who, What, When, How, and Where - Part II.")

Acts 3:16, 16 "And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all."  (Source: Bible – New American Standard (NASB))

Ministry: Health and Wellness.  Coordinator(s) and/or Volunteer(s): Leroy Mobley, Cordelia Bevel. Ministry In-Brief Administrator: Karl Spencer. Location: Fifth Ward Church of Christ Resource Center.

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The Goals and Vision of the center are to:

(1) Offer quality resources that contribute to the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of local community residents and the Greater Houston Area;

(2) Provide an opportunity for every desiring member to use their particular gifts in service to God and mankind;

(3) Cultivate a community of believers who support and encourage one another, and who ultimately bring glory to God; and

(4) Create opportunities to share the goods news of Jesus Christ and his Kingdom.

Some services require pre-registration or accompaniment by a member. Space is limited.  Call or email us for additional information.  Tel: 713-672-2654, Email: