Hypertension Q & A
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. To understand high blood pressure, it helps to think about how your circulatory system works.
Every time your heart beats, it pushes oxygenated blood through your arteries, veins, and capillaries. That pumping force places pressure on the walls of your arteries.
Your blood pressure is measured in two ways: The pressure placed on arterial walls during each heartbeat is your systolic blood pressure, and the pressure in the pause between heartbeats is your diastolic blood pressure.
High blood pressure damages the tissues in your artery walls. Cholesterol accumulates in those damaged areas, eventually forming plaque and hardening your arteries. The most dangerous aspect of hypertension is the effect it has on your heart and blood vessels, making them work harder to move blood throughout your body.
What causes high blood pressure?
Numerous conditions can lead to high blood pressure. Some of the more common causes include:
- Thyroid problems
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney issues
- Congenital defects in blood vessels
- Certain medications
- Illegal drug use
In many cases, there is no clear cause for high blood pressure. Researchers have, however, identified risk factors that increase your chances of developing hypertension. These include:
- Family history
- Tobacco use
- Being overweight or obese
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High sodium diet
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Certain chronic health issues
Fortunately, improving your lifestyle can help you avoid hypertension or reduce your readings.
How is hypertension treated?
Dr. Ennis prefers a multifaceted approach to treating hypertension. Numerous medications that can help control your blood pressure are available. Finding the right option may take a period of trial-and-error, and your drug therapy may need to be monitored and adjusted over time.
Lifestyle modifications are a great way to not only reduce your blood pressure but also enhance all aspects of your health and wellness. Dr. Ennis offers medically supervised weight management and works with you to find a diet and exercise plan that aligns with your health goals and lifestyle.
If you’d like to have your blood pressure checked and explore ways to bring your numbers into a healthy range, schedule an appointment at Premier Women’s Health Center today. Call the Amarillo, Texas, office or schedule a consultation online.
Notes: general description