Winning Health | Gold Coast Health Plan | Issue 2 | Fall 2018

Benefits for better health Acupuncture is a covered benefit for Gold Coast Health Plan (GCHP) members. The benefit is available for GCHP members with severe chronic pain caused by a health issue. No preapproval is needed. For more information about this benefit, call Member Services at 1-888-301‑1228/ TTY 1-888-310-7347 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit . I f you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you might be wondering what to do. It is important for you to take your prescribed medications and for your doctor to monitor your blood pressure levels at regular check-ups. You can make positive lifestyle changes to take control of your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more. To help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range: ■  ■ Cut down on salt. Aim for less than 1,500 milligrams a day. For reference, there are 1,725 milligrams of sodium in ¾ teaspoon of table salt. ■  ■ Get physical. Exercise can help you to maintain a healthy weight and help lower blood pressure. Aim for 90 to 150 minutes of physical activity a week. ■  ■ Limit alcohol. Health experts suggest no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. ■  ■ Don’t smoke. Smoking raises blood pressure, among its many other health risks. ■  ■ Manage stress. Take some time to think about what causes stress and try to find ways to cope with it in healthy ways. Other ways to take control of your blood pressure: ■  ■ Relax at testing. Feeling relaxed and not talking to your nurse or medical assistant is the best way to get accurate blood pressure test results. Remember to sit down with health winning Member Services Luis Aguilar Health Education Lupe González, PhD, MPH Editor-in-Chief Susana Enriquez-Euyoque Chief Medical Officer Nancy R. Wharfield, MD WINNING HEALTH is published as a community service for the friends and patrons of GOLD COAST HEALTH PLAN, 711 E. Daily Drive, Suite #106, Camarillo, CA 93010- 6082, telephone 1-888-301-1228/TTY 1-888-310-7347. Information in WINNING HEALTH comes from a wide range of medical experts. If you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health, please contact your health care provider. Models may be used in photos and illustrations. 2018 © Coffey Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. wellness Blood pressure: How to bring it down   DID YOU KNOW? About 50,000 people get HIV each year in the U.S. In Ventura County, the number of cases has doubled over the last two years. For free testing, call the HIV/AIDS Center in Ventura at 1-805-652-3342 . your feet flat on the floor and arms uncrossed. ■  ■ Know your numbers. And what they mean. For most people, normal blood pressure is a systolic (upper) number of less than 120 and a diastolic (lower) number of less than 80. Ask your doctor what your numbers should be. ■  ■ Check it regularly. Get your blood pressure checked regularly with your doctor. As a benefit of Gold Coast Health Plan (GCHP), you can also get a blood pressure monitor so you can check it at home. Talk to your doctor if it’s high. ■  ■ Keep a record. Write your blood pressure readings in a journal or keep track with your phone. You and your doctor can review patterns together.