Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, means the force of blood against the walls of your blood vessels is consistently higher than it should be. Over time, the excess force damages the walls of your blood vessels, causing them to stiffen and narrow.
Stiffening and narrowing of your blood vessels affect circulation, and your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body, increasing your risk of developing heart failure. The change in your blood vessels also increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Having high cholesterol may increase your risk of developing hypertension or worsen your blood pressure. The buildup of plaque along your blood vessel walls from high cholesterol also causes narrowing and stiffening of your blood vessels.
Hypertension also damages other organs, leading to health complications such as kidney disease, vascular dementia, or aneurysms.
Most people with hypertension have no symptoms, even when their blood pressure readings are high. You should have your blood pressure checked at least once a year to monitor for hypertension.
The Comprehensive Primary Care team checks your blood pressure every time you come to the office, whether for an acute care visit or your annual physical exam. One higher than normal blood pressure reading doesn’t mean you have hypertension.
If the team has concerns about your blood pressure readings, they may request you invest in a home blood pressure machine and monitor your numbers at home.
The team diagnoses hypertension if you have higher than normal blood pressure readings on three separate occasions.
The team at Comprehensive Primary Care creates individualized treatment plans for hypertension based on your blood pressure numbers and medical history.
However, with a focus on preventive healthcare, the team may initially focus on lifestyle changes to lower your numbers, such as:
If your blood pressure remains high after implementing lifestyle changes, the team may prescribe a blood pressure medication. There are many types of blood pressure medications, and the one best suited for you depends on the severity of your hypertension and your overall health.
When prescribing medication for hypertension, the team encourages you to continue your healthy lifestyle changes to improve overall health and well-being.
For a patient-centered approach to hypertension from an experienced and caring team, call Comprehensive Primary Care or book an appointment online today.