HYPERTENSION

HYPERTENSION: High Blood Pressure

 

Overview

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.

Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. A blood pressure reading is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It has two numbers.

 

 

Systolic (mm Hg)

Diastolic (mm Hg)

Normal blood pressure

less than 130

less than 85

High-normal blood pressure

130–139

85–89

Grade 1 hypertension

140–159

90–99

Grade 2 hypertension

over 160

over 100

 

You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected and you and your doctor will talk about a treatment plan to control it.

Symptoms

Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.

A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren't specific and usually don't occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.

When to see a doctor

You'll likely have your blood pressure taken as part of a routine doctor's appointment.

Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years starting at age 18. If you're age 40 or older, or you're 18 to 39 with a high risk of high blood pressure, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading every year.

Causes

There are two types of high blood pressure.

Primary (essential) hypertension

For most adults, there's no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure, called primary (essential) hypertension, tends to develop gradually over many years.

Secondary hypertension

Some people have high blood pressure caused by an underlying condition. This type of high blood pressure, called secondary hypertension, tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension. Various conditions and medications can lead to secondary hypertension, including:

 

Risk factors

High blood pressure has many risk factors, including:

Complications

Blood pressure measurements fall into several categories:

Diagnosis

Your doctor will get a blood pressure reading get an appointment. Your doctor may ask you to record your blood pressure at home to provide additional information and confirm if you have high blood pressure. Home monitoring is an important way to confirm if you have high blood pressure, to check if your blood pressure treatment is working or to diagnose worsening high blood pressure.

Tests

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend tests to confirm the diagnosis and check for underlying conditions that can cause hypertension.

Treatment

Changing your lifestyle can help control and manage high blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend that you make lifestyle changes including:

But sometimes lifestyle changes aren't enough. If diet and exercise don't help, your doctor may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure.

Medications

The type of medication your doctor prescribes for high blood pressure depends on your blood pressure measurements and overall health. Two or more blood pressure drugs often work better than one. Sometimes finding the most effective medication or combination of drugs is a matter of trial and error.

 

If you or a family member have blood pressure issues or you or a family members hasn’t had a blood pressure reading in a year the medical providers at Grayhawk Medical Group are here for an appointment to look at your blood pressure and or heart.

 

Author
Michael Nunez, M.D. Dr. Michael Nunez is a primary care physician who treats patients living in the Scottsdale, Arizona area. Dr. Nunez attended the University of Arizona where he earned both his Bachelor's degree as well as his doctorate. He received his Board Certification through the American Board of Family Medicine. The doctor is an Arizona native who takes pride in working with the people of his community. The doctor began practicing medicine in 1998. In 2001, he opened Grayhawk Medical Group, PLLC, to better serve the area residents. Dr. Nunez continues to expand his education so he can better serve his patients in all aspects of treatment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Anxiety

Understanding the meaning and causes of anxiety

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is a disease that develops when the body's tissues cannot use insulin properly.

Skin Care

Learn all about the importance of skin care. Love the skin you're in.

Telemedicine:

Read on to see if a telemedicine appointment from Grayhawk Medical Group is right for you.

What is a Primary Care Physician?

A Primary Care Physician can encompass many specialties. Family doctors, internists, pediatricians and geriatricians are examples of primary care physicians.