Learn more about high blood pressure, its causes, and how to recognize if you have it.
The CDC reports that nearly 50 percent of American adults have hypertension or high blood pressure. Since untreated high blood pressure can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications, it’s important that our Cypress, TX, primary care physicians catch this problem early on and provide you with lifestyle modifications and medical interventions to help you manage high blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure measures blood’s force against the arterial walls of the heart. The more blood being pumped out from the heart and the narrower the arteries are, the higher your blood pressure will be. What does this mean, exactly? Over time, untreated high blood pressure can lead to severe and even fatal complications, including heart attack or stroke.
When you come into our Cypress, TX, practice for your yearly checkup, your blood pressure is one of the first things we’ll check. When we take your blood pressure, you’ll notice two numbers: The number above is known as systolic pressure and the number below is known as diastolic pressure. A healthy blood pressure reading is at or below 120/80. Anything over 120/80 is considered high blood pressure.
What causes high blood pressure?
This isn’t typically a problem that you wake up to one day—it’s usually one that develops over time. We often point to a lack of exercise and a highly processed American diet as the culprits for high blood pressure. If you are obese or have other chronic health problems such as diabetes, you are also at an increased risk for high blood pressure. Other factors include,
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Chronic stress
Fortunately, many of these factors are under your control, so simply making time for physical activity every day, eating a healthy, whole-food diet, and limiting stress, alcohol, tobacco products, and salty processed foods can go a long way to reducing your risk for high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is slightly elevated, making these simple lifestyle changes can help lower your blood pressure without needing medication.
How do I know that I have high blood pressure?
Unfortunately, many people have high blood pressure and don’t know it. Most people with high blood pressure will feel fine for a while and won’t experience any symptoms. This is another reason why turning to our Cypress, TX, team for annual checkups can help you detect high blood pressure sooner.
Many local pharmacies also have blood pressure machines that may also give you a reading, which can be helpful to use between those annual visits. If you have a family history of high blood pressure or other risk factors, you may benefit from having an at-home blood pressure monitor (which you can easily order online).
The Cypress, TX, doctors Dr. Janette Nguyen and Dr. Hoan Ngo at Premier NW Houston Medical Group can monitor, diagnose, and treat high blood pressure. We can catch high blood pressure early by coming in for an annual checkup. Call (281) 758-1022 to schedule your next appointment.