Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition that can have serious consequences for your health. It’s also a condition that you can do a lot to control. Your family medicine doctor Dr. Laws at Family Care Clinic in Ennis, TX can help. Our family medicine doctor treats people of all ages, including adults and seniors, who may be affected by high blood pressure.
What is Hypertension?
When your doctor checks your blood pressure, it’s a measurement of blood flowing through your arteries. If a blockage impairs the flow of blood, blood pressure will rise. A normal blood pressure for a healthy adult is about 120/80. If your blood pressure is higher than that, you have hypertension or high blood pressure.
Causes of Hypertension
Hypertension can be due to genetic causes. Most often, high blood pressure is due to a buildup of fatty plaques on the walls of your arteries. The plaque buildup causes arteries to narrow. Flowing blood meets resistance from the narrowed arteries, and blood pressure rises.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension is known as the “silent killer” because you may experience little to no symptoms. You may have high blood pressure if you experience:
- Dizziness and headaches
- Facial flushing
- Blood spots in your eyes
- Mild chest discomfort
Prevention of Hypertension
Dietary and lifestyle modifications can help reduce your risk of developing hypertension. You need to:
- Avoid tobacco use and limit alcohol consumption
- Exercise regularly at least 30 minutes on most days of the week
- Limit your intake of salt and caffeine
- Eat lean meats like fish and poultry, and avoid red meat
- Eat natural foods when you can and avoid fried, greasy, or fast food
- Eat complex carbohydrates like grains and vegetables, instead of simple carbohydrates like sugars
- Eat low-fat or nonfat dairy products, instead of full-fat dairy products
- Practice stress management techniques
- Check your blood pressure regularly
Treatment of Hypertension
Medications are the first line of treatment for hypertension. Your family medicine doctor may prescribe one or more of these medications to control or lower blood pressure:
- Diuretics, to eliminate excess water
- ACE inhibitors, relax blood vessels
- Beta Blockers, open blood vessels, lowering the workload on your heart
- Calcium channel blockers, relax blood vessels and slow down heart rate
When to Visit Your Family Medicine Doctor
Hypertension is often identified during routine physicals when your blood pressure is measured, so it’s important to visit your family medicine doctor at least once each year, especially as you get older. In addition, you should visit your family medicine doctor if you experience:
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Chronic headaches
Want To Know More?
To learn more about the prevention, signs, symptoms, and treatment of hypertension, call Dr. Laws at Family Care Clinic in Ennis, TX. You can reach them in the office by calling (972) 875-6700, so call today.