High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious but common medical condition. High blood pressure is brought on by the flow of blood exerting excessive force on the walls of your blood vessels. Over time, the extra pressure damages delicate blood vessels and vital organs, including your heart.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer.” You can have high blood pressure even if you have no symptoms, but there are a few warning signs to look for, including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds

The onset of high blood pressure doesn’t happen right away but gradually over time, which is why high-quality preventive care from Family Tree Medical Group is so important.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed?
Your provider at Family Tree Medical Group examines you and takes a full medical history. You’ll have your blood pressure tested with an inflatable cuff called a sphygmomanometer. The cuff records two numbers:

  • Top number: your systolic blood pressure, the pressure of your blood during heartbeats
  • Bottom number: your diastolic pressure, the pressure of your blood when your heart rests between beats

Here’s how the blood pressure test works:

  • Your provider places the cuff around your arm and gradually inflates it
  • The tightening cuff briefly compresses your brachial artery, which temporarily stops the blood flow
  • Your practitioner listens to your blood pressure with a stethoscope or an electronic monitor as the air slowly leaves the cuff
  • Normal blood pressure is under 120/80 mmHg.

If your blood pressure readings are higher than that over several readings, there’s a good chance you have high blood pressure.

How is high blood pressure treated?
Your provider at Family Tree Medical Group will talk with you about making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle as a good first step. These changes can include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Stopping smoking
  • Limiting your salt intake
  • Eating healthy, nutritious meals
  • Cutting back on alcoholic beverages
  • Shedding extra pounds

Your provider might suggest prescription medications to lower your chances of serious high blood pressure-related conditions, such as a stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease.

If you think you have high blood pressure and you want to take a proactive step toward your lasting health, call or schedule an appointment online with Family Tree Medical Group.