What Is Hypertension?
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition in which the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is too high. This serious health condition can eventually cause heart disease and additional health issues if left unchecked. Your blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood that your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow there is in your arteries. If your heart pumps a lot of blood and your arteries are too narrow, then your blood pressure will be high. This condition usually develops over many years and will affect everyone eventually. Luckily, it can be easily detected. Once high blood pressure has been discovered, it can be controlled and monitored.
Blood pressure measurements:
- Normal: below 120/80 mm Hg
- Elevated: systolic pressure ranging from 120-129 mm Hg and diastolic pressure that is below 80 mm Hg
- Stage 1 hypertension: systolic pressure ranging from 130-139 mm Hg and diastolic pressure ranging from 80-89 mm Hg
- Stage 2 hypertension: systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher
What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
Even if someone’s blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels, most people will not experience any signs or symptoms. You may experience nosebleeds, shortness of breath or headaches, but those symptoms are not specific and usually only occur at a severe or life-threatening stage.
What Are the Causes?
The two types of hypertension are primary (essential) and secondary. In most cases with primary hypertension, there is no identifiable cause. This type of hypertension tends to develop slowly over many years. Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying condition. This type usually develops suddenly and causes higher blood pressure readings. The underlying conditions and medications that can lead to secondary hypertension include:
- Amphetamines, cocaine and use of other illegal drugs
- Birth control pills
- Certain prescription drugs
- Cold remedies
- Congenital defects in the blood vessels
- Kidney problems
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Thyroid problems
How Can Drs. De Castro and Basit Help Me?
Some people may be able to lower their blood pressure levels through lifestyle changes alone. Eating a healthier diet and exercising regularly can go a long way toward lowering your blood pressure. In cases where high blood pressure doesn’t respond to lifestyle changes, you may need medication to keep blood pressure at a safe level. Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and renin inhibitors can all be prescribed by Drs. De Castro and Basit.
Request an Appointment In Hanford, California
If you have hypertension, or suspect that you have high blood pressure, request an appointment at De Castro and Basit MDs. Get an evaluation and medical advice from local experts in order to avoid further health complications down the road. To get started, fill out the request form below or call (559) 582-9100.