Hypertension and You
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be a dangerous gateway to more serious, life-threatening cardiac conditions. This often silent condition can also affect your kidneys, brain and vision, so it’s important to devise a plan to properly monitor and control blood pressure. When left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can have long-term, life-threatening consequences as it puts people at risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease and stroke.
When blood pressure is not controlled, the long-term consequences can be fatal, as it puts people at risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease and stroke.
If you need help in controlling your blood pressure, then you need to call or stop by VIVAA today. Every patient is treated as family, so you know the plan you’re getting with Dr. Kaur is completely customized to your needs.
WHAT CAUSES HYPERTENSION?
The exact causes are unknown, but several factors may play a role, including:
- Lack of physical activity
- Using too much salt
- High alcohol consumption
- Family history
- Chronic kidney disease
- Adrenal and thyroid disorders
- Sleep apnea
The underlying cause of hypertension cannot be found in as many as 95% of cases in the United States. These are classified as essential hypertension. Even though it’s somewhat mysterious, it has been linked to certain risk factors.
High blood pressure tends to run in families and affects more men than women. Blacks are twice as likely as whites to have it, although the gap begins to narrow around age 44. After age 65, black women have the highest incidence.
Essential hypertension is also greatly influenced by diet and lifestyle. The link between salt and high blood pressure is especially compelling. People who add no salt to their food show almost no traces of essential hypertension. Most people with high blood pressure are “salt sensitive” and must reduce their intake.
Other factors that can raise your risk of essential hypertension include diabetes, stress, insufficient intake of potassium calcium and magnesium, smoking and chronic alcohol consumption.
When a direct cause can be identified, the condition is described as secondary hypertension. Kidney disease ranks highest among the causes of secondary hypertension. It can also be triggered by tumors or other abnormalities that cause the adrenal glands to secrete excess amounts of hormones that elevate blood pressure. Birth control pills and pregnancy can boost blood pressure, as can medications that constrict blood vessels.
SYMPTOMS OF HYPERTENSION
Most of the time, people are unaware that they have hypertension. Approximately one-third of all those who have high blood pressure don’t realize that they have it because it’s primarily a silent disease. Sometimes, when blood pressure is extremely high, it can produce the following symptoms:
- Frequent, severe headaches
- Chest pain or severe pounding in the chest, neck and ears
- Breathing difficulties
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
Whether due to lifestyle choices or genetic predispositions, Dr. Kaur will help narrow down the major issues and develop a long-term plan with you that will pay dividends in your personal health. Some major lifestyle modifications that are heavily encouraged are healthier diets, plenty of exercise, quitting smoking, and reducing the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The combination of these will significantly impact blood pressure. From this article DASH Diet: Reducing Hypertension through Diet and Lifestyle it is clear that although originally implemented as a dietary plan to lower blood pressure, DASH has many advantages for health.
But other risk factors, like genetic predispositions, that impact patients with family histories of diabetes and high cholesterol. Men and women older than 65 need more careful monitoring of their blood pressure as they age. These patients require the advice of a medical professional, so if you’re within these criteria, Dr. Kaur can help get your blood pressure back to safe limits and continuously monitor your progress to ensure a steady balance. After your assessment, follow-up checkups are needed until the ultimate blood pressure goal is achieved.
WHEN MEDICATIONS ARE REQUIRED
There are often cases where medications might be the best course of action if lifestyle modifications are not enough. Dr. Kaur will help you fine-tune your treatment plan to have the most effective combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Many different types of drugs can be used to treat high blood pressure, and can include the following:
- Beta blockers to reduce the workload on your heart and open your blood vessels
- ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors that relax muscles in the blood vessels and are ideal for people with chronic kidney disease
- Diuretics to help eliminate sodium and water in the kidneys, reducing blood volume
- Renin inhibitors to slow production of the renin enzyme in your kidneys which can lead to elevated blood pressure
- Calcium channel blockers that help relax the blood vessel muscles, often reducing heart rate.
WHY HYPERTENSION NEEDS TREATMENT
Most people who suffer from hypertension never have signs or symptoms, even when levels become dangerously high. Some people may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these symptoms are non-specific and often won’t occur unless blood pressure reaches dangerously high levels.
Hypertension is something that should always be taken seriously, and a major overhaul of your current lifestyle may be needed to prevent the situation from deteriorating. Your blood pressure should be taken as a routine part of your doctor appointment. Make sure that it is checked in both arms to see if there is a difference.
If you want a health treatment plan for hypertension that addresses your unique concerns and issues, then stop by VIVAA in Bellevue or Issaquah, WA, today to schedule a one-on-one consultation, or give us a call at 425-250-9999. We will help you to find the best plan for you for all types of primary care services.