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High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

What’s high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common circulatory disorder that develops when your blood flow exerts a higher amount of force against the walls of your arteries than normal over an extended period.
Did you know, one in three American adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Having hypertension puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States.
According to the CDC.gov uncontrolled high blood pressure is common. A greater percentage of men (50%) have high blood pressure than women (44%).

Why are blood pressure screenings important?

High blood pressure is sometimes called a “silent killer” because it’s possible to live with the condition for years without experiencing symptoms of any kind.
That is why it is important to know blood pressure readings. A blood pressure reading measures the force your blood exerts on your arteries when your heart beats (systolic pressure) as well as the force your blood exerts when your heart rests between beats (diastolic pressure).
Systolic pressure is listed before or above diastolic pressure. A normal blood pressure reading is 119/79 or lower. If your blood pressure consistently reads 140/90 or higher, you may have chronic hypertension.
Regular blood pressure checks are vital for catching diseases in its early, most treatable stage.

Am I at risk for high blood pressure?

Your blood pressure is affected by a variety of influences, ranging from modifiable factors like dietary choices and stress levels to unalterable factors like age, race, and family history. The most significant risk factors for high blood pressure are:

Older age

High blood pressure is more prevalent among older adults, and your risk of developing the disorder increases substantially, starting in middle age.

Family history

High blood pressure tends to run in families, so you’re more likely to develop it if other close family members have it.

Bodyweight

Being overweight places more pressure on your vessels because they must handle an increased blood volume to carry a larger supply of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues.

Lifestyle habits

Lack of exercise, eating a sodium-rich diet, smoking cigarettes, and drinking too much alcohol can contribute to the development of chronic hypertension.

How is high blood pressure treated?

While only about half of adults with high blood pressure have the condition under control, seeking proper care is the best way to reduce the likelihood of serious health complications.
Primary hypertension, the most common form of high blood pressure, can usually be brought back under control with healthy lifestyle changes, including:

  • Switching to a low-sodium diet
  • Increasing your physical activity
  • Losing excess body weight
  • Avoiding cigarettes and limiting alcohol
  • Managing daily stress levels

If your blood pressure is extremely high, or if lifestyle changes don’t reduce your level fast enough, make an appointment to prescribe medication to bring your numbers back in line more quickly.

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