According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypertension affects roughly 47 percent of the American adult population, and about 400,000 people succumb to the condition every year.
A person is considered hypertensive if their blood pressure chronically exceeds 130/80 mmHg, Hypertension puts anyone at a greater risk for potentially life-threatening complications, such as heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and sudden cardiac death.
Whether you suspect that you have hypertension or you have the risk factors for it (e.g., diabetes, excess weight problem, or unhealthy lifestyle habits), knowledge is crucial for keeping it under control and maintaining your quality of life.
Below, we’ve provided some information about hypertension, particularly its causes, symptoms, and treatment to give you a better understanding of this deadly condition.
Causes of Hypertension
Hypertension is broken down into two types: primary (essential) and secondary. The potential causes of high blood pressure vary, depending on the type, as outlined below:
- Primary hypertension – This type has no identifiable cause but is thought to be linked to a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, genetics, and obesity.
- Secondary hypertension – This type is ascribed to other medical conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), thyroid problems, kidney disease, or adrenal gland tumors.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension has been dubbed by experts “the silent killer” and for a good reason: a person can have hypertension for years and not know it. It often doesn’t have symptoms, and if it does, they are often mistakenly attributed to other conditions.
If you experience the following, see your primary care provider for a blood pressure check:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe headache
- Nose bleeds
- Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, and abdomen
- Vision problems
Symptoms to Watch Out For
Hypertension requires vigilance to prevent hypertensive crisis, a medical emergency characterized by a sudden and severe increase in blood pressure. This is usually caused by nonadherence to the treatment plan, severe stress or anxiety, and other conditions.
Below are the common signs and symptoms of a hypertensive crisis. If you experience any or some of these, time is of the essence – go to your nearest emergency room or call 911 for prompt intervention.
- Blood pressure of 180/120 or higher
- Severe chest pain, especially if it occurs with sweating, nausea or vomiting, rapid heartbeats, shortness of breath, etc.
- Sudden or severe headache, especially if accompanied by blurred vision and/or unilateral paralysis of the face or extremities
Treatment for Hypertension
Medications are the mainstay of treatment for hypertension. Your doctor may prescribe a diuretic (medications to expel excess salt and water from the body) or a combination of a diuretic and either an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor (medication to relax your blood vessels) or a beta-blocker (medication to lower your blood pressure).
Your physician will also likely give you dietary and lifestyle recommendations, such as the following, to ensure your condition is properly managed:
- Consuming a low-fat and low-sodium diet
- Engaging in regular physical activity
- Lowering or avoiding caffeine and alcohol intake altogether
- Managing stress levels
- Monitoring your blood pressure at home
- Quitting smoking
- Visiting your doctor regularly
Hypertension Treatment in Wellington, FL
For top-notch hypertension treatment and management in the Wellington, Florida area, visit us here at Advanced Medical. Our team is led by two board-certified primary care providers who are best known for their comprehensive and compassionate approach to care and commitment to guiding patients along the path to optimal health and wellness.