It’s estimated that half of all adults have high blood pressure and few keep it under control, putting them at risk of having a heart attack or stroke. At The Woodlands Heart & Vascular Center in Shenandoah and Sugar Land, Texas, Jasmine Khan, MD, and the expert team offer comprehensive care for high blood pressure, helping you prevent the disease with regular screenings and providing exceptional treatment to protect your health once the condition develops. To schedule an appointment, call the office or request a consultation online today.
Your blood pressure is determined by the force of blood against artery walls as it flows through your body. Factors that influence your blood pressure include blood volume, the health of your heart and blood vessels, and the amount of salt in your body.
In about 10% of cases, high blood pressure is caused by an underlying health condition such as kidney disease, thyroid disease, hormone imbalances, and adrenal gland tumors.
The remaining 90% of patients with high blood pressure don’t have an identifiable cause. Instead, their hypertension gradually develops due to risk factors such as:
Other dietary factors such as lack of fiber or not getting enough potassium-rich foods also contribute to high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer for good reason – it seldom causes any symptoms. In many cases, the first sign of hypertension is a serious event such as a heart attack or stroke.
When high blood pressure goes untreated, it damages the artery walls, creating areas where cholesterol can penetrate the wall and start accumulating more fats and other substances. This condition is called atherosclerosis.
As the plaque continues to enlarge and harden, blood flow becomes increasingly restricted.
Atherosclerosis causes different problems depending on the plaque’s location. For example, it can cause peripheral artery disease, carotid artery disease, coronary artery disease, and chronic kidney disease.
Making lifestyle changes can prevent high blood pressure before it develops. You may need to switch to a heart-healthy diet, start a regular exercise regimen, lose weight, and/or stop smoking.
The same lifestyle changes are also the first line of treatment after your doctor diagnoses high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is mildly to moderately elevated, lifestyle changes may be all you need to lower your numbers and keep it in a healthy range.
However, if lifestyle changes don’t help or your blood pressure is dangerously high, your doctor at The Woodlands Heart & Vascular Center prescribes medication.
Medications use different mechanisms to lower your blood pressure. Your prescription may eliminate excess water, relax your blood vessels, reduce the stress on your heart, or block substances that increase blood pressure.
If you need to schedule a blood pressure screening or you need ongoing management for high blood pressure, call The Woodlands Heart & Vascular Center or request your next visit online.