High blood pressure (also referred to as HBP, or hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with hypertension, our staff can help.
If you have high blood pressure, you are not alone
Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure.
The best way to know if you have high blood pressure it is to have your blood pressure checked.
Checking your blood pressure
When coming in for a visit your provider will ask questions about your medical history and do a physical examination. They will place an inflatable arm cuff around your arm and measure your blood pressure using a pressure-measuring gauge.
Your provider may also 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.
Changing your lifestyle can help control and manage high blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend that you make lifestyle changes including:
Eating a heart-healthy diet with less salt
Getting regular physical activity
Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if you're overweight or obese
Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink
But sometimes lifestyle changes aren't enough. If diet and exercise don't help, your doctor may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure.
Some of the threats of hypertension
In most cases, the damage done by high blood pressure takes place over time. Left undetected (or uncontrolled), high blood pressure can lead to:
Your best protection is knowledge, management and prevention
Know your numbers — The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked.
Understand the symptoms and risks — Learn what factors could make you more likely to develop high blood pressure and put you at risk for serious medical problems.
Make changes that matter — Take steps to reduce your risk and manage your blood pressure. Make heart-healthy lifestyle changes, take any medication as prescribed and work in partnership with your doctor.
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What are the risk Factors?
The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age. Until about age 64, high blood pressure is more common in men. Women are more likely to develop high blood pressure after age 65.
High blood pressure is particularly common among people of African heritage, often developing at an earlier age than it does in whites. Serious complications, such as stroke, heart attack and kidney failure, also are more common in people of African heritage.
High blood pressure tends to run in families.
Being overweight or obese
The more you weigh, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the amount of blood flow through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls.
Not being physically active
People who are inactive tend to have higher heart rates. The higher your heart rate, the harder your heart must work with each contraction and the stronger the force on your arteries.
Not only does smoking or chewing tobacco immediately raise your blood pressure temporarily, but the chemicals in tobacco can damage the lining of your artery walls. This can cause your arteries to narrow and increase your risk of heart disease.
Too much salt (sodium) in your diet
Too much sodium in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
Too little potassium in your diet
Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells. A proper balance of potassium is critical for good heart health. If you don't get enough potassium in your diet, or you lose too much potassium due to dehydration or other health conditions, sodium can build up in your blood.
Drinking too much alcohol
Over time, heavy drinking can damage your heart. Having more than one drink a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men may affect your blood pressure.
High levels of stress can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure. Stress-related habits such as eating more, using tobacco or drinking alcohol can lead to further increases in blood pressure.
Certain chronic conditions
Certain chronic conditions also may increase your risk of high blood pressure, including kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
Let us help you take care of your heart.
Call our clinics today to schedule your appointment.
Tensas - (318) 766.1967
Vidalia - (318) 414.3020