Sacred Heart Medical Group PC
Family Medicine & General Practitioners located in Greenbelt, MD
Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension affects nearly half of Americans, increasing their risks of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and other serious medical problems. Hypertension rarely causes noticeable symptoms before a serious event occurs. That’s why regular testing — and early treatment — are so important for keeping you healthy. At Sacred Heart Medical Group PC, Gabriel Oboite, MD, and his team use a patient-centered approach for treating hypertension, designing custom treatment plans based on each person’s unique and evolving needs. To learn how Dr. Oboite can help you manage your high blood pressure, call our Greenbelt, Maryland, practice or book an appointment online today.
What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is a measurement of the amount of force your blood exerts on the walls of your blood vessels during circulation. If you have high blood pressure, the amount of force is greater than “normal.”
Blood pressure readings give two numbers measured in millimeters of mercury. The first number (systolic pressure) reflects the pressure exerted when your heart beats, while the second number (diastolic pressure) represents pressure inside your vessels when your heart relaxes between beats.
In general, people with hypertension have a systolic pressure of 130 or higher, or a diastolic pressure of 80 or more. Your blood pressure may vary to some degree based on your age, your level of fitness, and other variables.
Why is hypertension so dangerous?
Unmanaged hypertension is associated with an array of health problems, including:
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- Kidney problems
- Vision problems
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Some types of dementia
Worse, hypertension typically causes no noticeable symptoms until it worsens and causes a serious problem, like the ones listed above. It is possible that hypertension could be causing damage to your blood vessels and organs and you might not even know it.
How can I tell if I have hypertension?
Because hypertension rarely causes symptoms, regular blood pressure screenings are essential for detecting high blood pressure as early as possible.
Knowing your personal risk factors is also important. Hypertension is more common among people who:
- Are overweight or obese
- Lead sedentary lives
- Have high cholesterol
- Have diabetes
- Eat a diet high in unhealthy fats or sodium
- Have a family history of hypertension
- Are older
If you have any of these risk factors, talk to Dr. Oboite about steps you should take to reduce your hypertension risks or manage hypertension if your blood pressure is already elevated.
How is hypertension treated?
Many people benefit from medications to lower their blood pressure, sometimes along with medication to reduce cholesterol levels. In addition to medication, there are several steps you can take to manage your blood pressure effectively:
- Stop smoking
- Eat a low-sodium diet
- Avoid all unhealthy fats
- Exercise 30 minutes a day (walking is great)
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Lose those excess pounds
Although you can manage hypertension with appropriate treatment, it’s a chronic medical problem that requires ongoing care. To learn what other steps you can take to manage your blood pressure, call Sacred Heart Medical Group PC or book an appointment online today.