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What Is Hypertension? How Do I Control My Blood Pressure?

What Is Hypertension? How Do I Control My Blood Pressure?

Hypertension — or high blood pressure — is a serious problem that causes your heart to work harder than it should to circulate blood throughout your body. Unfortunately, this condition affects the blood vessels and puts you at risk of heart disease, and it also increases your chances of such problems as:

What’s most troubling about hypertension is that you can have it for years without knowing because symptoms often occur after the damage has occurred.

Dr. Muthu Velusamy and our team at Cardiovascular Institute of America offer specialized and personalized care for heart and related conditions like high blood pressure. By regularly checking your blood pressure levels and your heart health, we can identify hypertension in the earliest stages and help you get it under control.

What it means to have hypertension

Nearly half of the population in the United States has hypertension. But why?

Blood pressure is the force your blood exerts against your blood vessel walls. If your  blood pressure is above 140/90, you are considered to have  hypertension and severe if the pressure is above 180/120. When you have hypertension, this pressure can damage the vessels and put you at risk for cardiovascular complications.

There are two types of hypertension:

Primary hypertension

When you have primary hypertension, your blood pressure increases steadily over time but has no obvious cause. Common factors that can contribute to this type of hypertension include:

This is the most common type of hypertension, and in some cases, it’s preventable.

Secondary hypertension

Secondary hypertension means you have high blood pressure because of an underlying illness. For example, people with kidney or thyroid disease have an increased risk of developing secondary hypertension.

You can also have both primary and secondary hypertension.

How to treat hypertension

When you have hypertension, your initial treatment often involves lowering your blood pressure levels naturally. We can set you up for success and guide you through the process by creating a management plan designed to help you make important lifestyle changes.

If you’re overweight, we provide a healthy, nutritious diet plan that supports weight loss and heart health. We can also make recommendations to increase your physical activity, which can lower your blood pressure while improving blood circulation.

If stress is a factor in your hypertension, increased exercise can help lower your stress levels. We can also suggest a variety of mindfulness exercises that you can practice to better manage your stress. Meditation, breathing techniques, and yoga are just a few of such exercises.

You also might need medication to get hypertension under control. If we prescribe medication, take it as directed and continue implementing our lifestyle and dietary recommendations.

Make positive changes to improve your health

In addition to following a nutritious, heart-healthy diet and watching your stress levels, ditch unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive alcohol use. These activities can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. 

If you need help, we can suggest programs and strategies to help you quit for good. Similarly, we can offer guidance on how much alcohol is too much, so you can avoid hypertension, liver damage, and other health complications.

Finally, get your blood pressure checked regularly to ensure your levels stay healthy. 

Schedule a blood pressure screening today to lower your risk for hypertension complications. Call us at Cardiovascular Institute of America in Tampa and Lutz, Florida, or book an appointment online today.

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