Almost half of adults in the United States have hypertension, or high blood pressure, which puts them at risk of heart problems. At Garcia Family Medicine - A Direct Primary Care Practice in Blue Springs, Missouri, family medicine physician Theresa Garcia, MD, FAAFP, better known by her patients as Dr. Tess, and the team can diagnose and treat hypertension to reduce your risk of complications. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.
Hypertension is high blood pressure, which occurs when the force of blood pressing against blood vessel walls is too high. Untreated high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and other heart or blood vessel problems, so routine blood pressure screenings with Garcia Family Medicine are important.
Hypertension screening is crucial because many people with high blood pressure don’t have any signs or symptoms, even if their blood pressure reaches dangerously high levels. In some cases, you may experience shortness of breath, headaches, or nosebleeds, but these symptoms often don’t appear until your blood pressure reaches life-threatening stages.
High blood pressure can happen to anyone, but certain factors boost your risk of having it. Examples include:
Family history of high blood pressure Being overweight or obese Older age Being sedentary Smoking Too much sodium Too little dietary potassium Excessive alcohol Chronic diseases Ongoing stress
Pregnancy may also contribute to high blood pressure. Hypertension is easy to treat, and properly controlling it can greatly reduce your risk of life-threatening heart problems.
To find out if you have hypertension, Dr. Tess and her team discuss your medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle. They use a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope or machine to determine how high your blood pressure is.
Dr. Tess can also complete a physical exam, plus blood tests in some cases, as needed to detect or rule out additional health problems.
Hypertension diagnosis and treatment might revolve around additional health conditions like coronary artery disease, diabetes, or other obesity-related conditions. Dr. Tess can also treat chronic diseases at the same time as treating high blood pressure.
Common hypertension treatments include:
Making lifestyle changes can reduce high blood pressure naturally. Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, keep stress levels as low as possible, and maintain a healthy body weight.
If your blood pressure is dangerously high or lifestyle changes haven’t brought it back to a normal, healthy range, Dr. Tess can prescribe medications to reduce blood pressure and your risk of serious complications.
If you’re at risk of high blood pressure or you’ve previously been diagnosed with it, schedule an appointment with Garcia Family Medicine by phone or book online today.