Hypertension is another term for high blood pressure. As blood circulates, the heart's pumping action causes pressure inside the blood vessels. This pressure typically occurs within normal low and high boundaries. Hypertension occurs when the pressure inside the blood vessels exceeds the normal high level. Over time and without proper treatment, hypertension can cause damage to the blood vessels as well as damage to other organs, and it can also significantly increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious medical issues.
Hypertension typically causes very few or no symptoms until damage or a serious medical event like a heart attack has occurred. The best way to determine if hypertension is present is to have blood pressure checked regularly at routine annual exams or more often for patients with risk factors for high blood pressure, including being overweight or obese, smoking, older age, being physically inactive, abusing alcohol and consuming a diet high in sodium. Chronic stress and certain diseases like diabetes and kidney disease can also increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
While hypertension can, in some cases, be caused by an underlying disease like kidney disease, most people have what is known as primary hypertension, which develops over many years. The most common sign of high blood pressure is atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. In this condition, sticky plaques cling to the interior walls of vessels, making it more difficult for blood to circulate and narrowing the vessel opening. Atherosclerosis is associated with high cholesterol, and it occurs much more commonly with age.
High blood pressure can be treated with medication, but many patients can also lower their blood pressure naturally by making some key lifestyle choices, including limiting sodium intake and increasing potassium and vitamin D intake, losing excess weight, quitting smoking and being more physically active. Routine monitoring is also important.
The following is a list of the insurance providers that our practice accepts. Please call our office if you do not see your insurance listed or have any questions. No HMOs are accepted.
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