How Well Do You Know Hypertension?

Hypertension, also known as “high blood pressure,” affects one in three adults in the U.S. and contributes to more than 1,000 deaths per day, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease than those who do not have high blood pressure.

According to The Hypertension Institute at St. Thomas West Hospital, “The odds are good that most people will have high blood pressure in their lifetime. In fact, 90% of people with normal blood pressure at age 55 are at risk for developing high blood pressure as they get older.”

Unfortunately, only about half of the people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Help for high blood pressure is available at St. Thomas Medical Group. Getting better starts with getting informed

What Is Hypertension?

High blood pressure occurs when the blood in your arteries applies excessive force to the arterial walls. While some fluctuation in blood pressure is normal, people with hypertension have excessive pressure on the arterial walls for an extended period of time. This significantly raises risk for heart attack and stroke.

How Do I Know If I Have Hypertension?

Oftentimes, there are no warning signs or symptoms of high blood pressure. It is important to understand that you could have hypertension without experiencing any symptoms whatsoever. Headaches and nausea are very uncommon symptoms of high blood pressure.

Because signs and symptoms are so rare, it’s important to see a doctor for a blood pressure screening. This quick and painless test simply involves placing an inflatable cuff around the arm to measure pressure in the blood vessels.

How Can I Manager My High Blood Pressure?

While blood pressure may be managed through certain medications, changing your diet and lifestyle is hands down the healthiest and best way to manage high blood pressure.

Manage high blood pressure by eating a diet that’s low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber. Staying active is also a great way to lower blood pressure. Aim to take three 10-minute walks per day, at least five days a week.

If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Limit alcoholic drinks to two per day (men) or one per day (women).

Am I At Risk for High Blood Pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure. However, some common risk factors include:

  • Having a family history of hypertension
  • Getting older
  • Lacking physical activity
  • Eating an unhealthy diet (especially a diet high in sodium)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Having diabetes
  • Having sleep apnea
  • Smoking

High Blood Pressure Treatment in Nashville, TN

Need help getting your high blood pressure under control? Find an internal medicine doctor in Nashville at St. Thomas Medical Group. Don’t delay in getting the care you need. Call +1 (615) 297-2700 or schedule your appointment online.