Hypertension – commonly known as high blood pressure – affects about one in three Americans at some point in their lives, yet only half of these people have the condition under control. Dr. Hal Wilson of Maxwell Medical Group in Scottsdale, Arizona, diagnoses and treats the effects of hypertension so that you can control it before it controls you. Call the office or request an appointment online to stay on top of your condition.
A chronic condition where the force of your blood is consistently high, hypertension is known more commonly as high blood pressure. Blood that’s rich in oxygen is part of the system that fuels your body, and so it must be supplied to all parts of your body. This is the job of the heart, a muscle that pushes blood through a network of vessels.
Blood pressure is measured in two states: when the heart is beating with maximum force, and when it’s at a period of rest, or minimum force. An expression of 120 over 80, for example represents a normal blood pressure.
High blood pressure has two types. Primary hypertension develops gradually over many years and has no directly known cause. Secondary hypertension arises from other conditions, diseases, medications, or substances. This may develop gradually, but it tends to appear quickly and with higher blood pressure levels than primary hypertension.
Conditions and medications that can cause secondary hypertension include:
You’re more at risk of developing high blood pressure simply due to age. Family history may contribute, as does being overweight or living a sedentary or high-stress lifestyle.
Lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your blood pressure level. Diet, exercise, reducing alcohol intake and quitting smoking each contributes to reduced hypertension.
There are also many medications that approach high blood pressure from different angles. These include thiazide diuretics, typically one of the first choices of medications used when searching for the right combination for your condition. Other medication classes include beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, among others.
It’s important to note that lifestyle changes remain important, even if you find a combination of medications that prove effective.