What is high blood pressure?
You have high blood pressure, or hypertension, when your blood pressure is elevated for extended periods of time.
The action of your heart pushing oxygen-rich blood throughout your body puts force on your blood vessels, this is called blood pressure. If this pressure remains high, your heart and blood vessels work harder and less efficiently.
When blood pressure remains raised, tears begin to occur in your arteries because of the strain. These areas of damage allow plaque and LDL (bad) cholesterol to build up, causing your arteries to narrow. As your arteries become more narrow, your heart is forced to work even harder, and your blood pressure continues to rise.
What causes high blood pressure?
There are two types of high blood pressure. Essential, or primary, hypertension, develops slowly without an apparent cause. Secondary hypertension is due to another issue, such as:
- Certain medications
- High-stress lifestyles
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Conditions like diabetes
- Sleep disorders like apnea
- Diseases of the thyroid or kidneys
- Being overweight, obese, or sedentary
- Diets high in salt or low in potassium or vitamin D
High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because there are usually no symptoms until serious damage occurs.
Why is it important to manage high blood pressure?
High blood pressure puts stress on your heart and increases your risk of several health complications, including:
- Vision loss
- Enlarged heart
- Irregular heartbeat
- Sexual dysfunction
- Heart attack or failure
- Kidney disease or failure
- Cognitive impairment or dementia
High blood pressure also raises your risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. If you have high cholesterol as well as hypertension, your risk of heart disease is even higher.
How is high blood pressure treated?
Our team takes a comprehensive approach to managing high blood pressure that uses a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.
Following your physical exam that includes a personal and family medical history, one of our physicians might recommend:
- Heart-healthy diets
- Weight-loss strategies
- Fitness plans to increase physical activity
- Stress management techniques like yoga or meditation
High blood pressure is a chronic condition that requires management over time. In addition to your treatment, our team also tracks your progress through regular physical exams, which might include electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, and stress tests.
We service patients from all over the DFW area including North Dallas, Addison, Carrollton, Plano, Garland, Irving, Allen, Richardson, and University Park, Highland Park, Frisco and McKinney.
For help managing your high blood pressure and protecting your heart, call Posture Perfect Wellness Center or schedule an appointment online today.