A very common condition, hypertension, or high blood pressure, is when the force of blood against your artery walls is too high. Because blood pressure is a measure of how much blood your heart pumps and how resistant your arteries are to blood flow, narrow arteries generally means high blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can cause a great deal of health problems including heart disease.
While high blood pressure is often grouped into one general category, there are actually two categories:
Because high blood pressure is so common, there are a number of different causes. Many of the most common include:
In order to properly diagnose high blood pressure, a healthcare professional will measure your blood pressure using a gauge that goes around your arm. This gauge will measure both systolic pressure, the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats, and diastolic pressure, or the pressure between beats.
The following gives an idea of what your blood pressure levels indicate:
Normal Blood Pressure
Systolic: 120 / Diastolic: 80
Elevated Blood Pressure
Systolic: 120-129 / Diastolic: Below 80
Stage 1 Hypertension
Systolic: 130-199 / Diastolic: 80-89
Stage 2 Hypertension
Systolic: 140 / Diastolic: 90
In addition to a blood pressure test, your doctor may suggest further monitoring, such as ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, or tests such as a urinalysis, blood test, or cholesterol test.
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe you a number of various medications. Some of the most common types may include:
In addition, there are a number of lifestyle changes that you will be asked to make to treat your hypertension. These may include:
If you are experiencing symptoms of high blood pressure, or would like to discuss options to prevent them, contact High Lakes Health Care today.