At One Community Health, our highly trained doctors specialize in hypertension treatment in Sacramento. We want to help you live a healthy and productive life by focusing on your unique needs, regardless of your ability to pay.
Blood pressure is the force applied on the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood to the body and then relaxes. A blood pressure reading will include the systolic blood pressure number over the diastolic blood pressure number. For example, your blood pressure might be 142/84.
Almost one in three American adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension. If not treated properly, it can be a very dangerous condition. But the good news is, with the right medications and lifestyle changes, high blood pressure can be managed, which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.
High blood pressure, is now generally defined as 130 or higher for the first number, or 80 or higher for the second number (this recently changed from 140/90). But just because your blood pressure is higher than 130/80 doesn’t necessarily indicate high blood pressure. Your doctor here at One Community Health will want to do multiple readings and take other things into consideration before diagnosing you.
Your blood pressure will be taken as part of your routine doctor’s appointment. It should be checked at least every two years, starting at age 18, and every year if you’re 40 or older. Or, if you’re between the ages of 18 to 39 with a high risk of high blood pressure, make sure to see your doctor yearly for a blood pressure reading.
Most people with high blood pressure don’t experience any symptoms. A few people with severely high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, and may need to be hospitalized.
The extra pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can cause damage to your blood vessels as well as to organs in your body. The damage caused by prolonged uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to the following complications:
These risk factors are things that cannot be changed:
Generally, the older you are, the greater your risk of having high blood pressure.
Men younger than 55 have a greater chance of having high blood pressure. Post menopausal women are also at a higher risk for having high blood pressure.
If people in your family have high blood pressure, your risk is higher.
African Americans are more likely to have high blood pressure.
Changing your lifestyle can have a big impact on lowering your blood pressure. Here are some of the risk factors you can change:
Being overweight puts you at a higher risk for high blood pressure, so losing weight can help lower your blood pressure.
People who are more sedentary usually have higher heart rates. With a higher heart rate the heart is forced to work harder with each contraction. This exerts more force on your artery walls, raising your blood pressure. Lack of physical activity also increases the risk of being overweight.
Too much sodium in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure. Additionally, if you don’t get enough potassium in your diet or if you don’t retain enough potassium, you may accumulate too much sodium in your blood because potassium helps balance sodium levels in your body.
For women, having more than one drink a day and for men, more than two drinks a day, may affect blood pressure.
Not only does smoking increase for high blood pressure, but it also increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and several other health issues.
Sleep apnea can raise your blood pressure. Sleep apnea is easily treated with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). Make sure to talk with your OCH doctor if you snore heavily at night as this could be a sign of sleep apnea.
Lowering your stress levels may also lower your blood pressure.
Changing as many of these lifestyle risk factors as possible can go a long way in treating your high blood pressure. Of course, your doctor here at One Community Health will be closely monitoring you and medication may be necessary if these changes alone are not enough to lower your blood pressure. The category of medication your doctor prescribes depends on your blood pressure measurements and your other medical problems. Our team of medical professionals are highly experienced in providing treatment for high blood pressure and we will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan.
At One Community Health, our highly trained doctors specialize in hypertension treatment in Sacramento. We want to help you live a healthy and productive life by focusing on your unique needs, regardless of your ability to pay. We accept walk-ins, or you can make an appointment by calling 916-443-3299.