High blood pressure is also known as Hypertension, it is an irregularity that occurs when blood vessels have high pressure, which can affect them. The Cardiologist is the specialist in treating these types of conditions.
When the heart is beating, it pumps blood to the vessels, which carry the blood to all parts of the body. If the pressure is higher, the heart makes a greater effort to pump.
The normal blood pressure in adults is 120 mm of mercury (systolic pressure) when the heart beats and 80 mm of mercury (diastolic pressure), when it is more relaxed. Blood pressure is considered elevated if it is equal to or exceeds 90 mm of diastolic pressure and 140 mm of systolic pressure.
A person's blood pressure varies by age, as the arteries age as the arteries get stiff and can change throughout the day. Blood pressure is regularly highest in the morning and rises while you're working, playing, or under stress, and levels drop lower during sleep. It should be mentioned that if the values are high for a long time, they can cause serious health problems. For this reason, it is recommended to regularly check blood pressure, since hypertension has no obvious symptoms and patients are not aware of it.
Causes Of Hypertension
Usually, the cause of Hypertension is the result of an underlying condition or other factors, such as:
Drinking excessive alcohol
Excess sodium consumption
Pregnancy or preeclampsia
Disorders of the adrenal glands
Consumption of certain medications such as birth control pills, antipsychotics, cold, diet pills, migraine and some drugs to treat cancer
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
Symptoms of Hypertension
In general, most people with hypertension don't show clear symptoms and can take a long time to appear. The most common symptoms are:
There are several risk factors that can contribute to high blood pressure, such as:
Age: High blood pressure is more common in people over 60 years old
Sex: men are slightly more likely to develop high blood pressure than women
Being a smoker or heavy drinker: Regularly consuming large amounts of alcohol or tobacco can increase blood pressure
Weight: Obesity and overweight are the main risk factors
Other existing cardiovascular diseases
High levels of stress
Family history of hypertension
Eating a diet high in fat and salt
When Should I See a Doctor?
If the blood pressure is high, higher the risk of suffering some damage to the heart or some of the main organs such as the brain and kidneys. Blood pressure is measured in both arms so that there is a difference. It is essential to wear a bracelet of the correct size.
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned or if you are between 18 and 40 years old or older, consult a Cardiologist to have your blood pressure measured every year. If you have high blood pressure, your Cardiologist will probably recommend that you measure your blood pressure more frequently.
At the age of 18, it is advisable to go to the Cardiologist and have your blood pressure measured at least every two years.
It is also possible to find blood pressure machines in some stores or pharmacies, consult your Cardiologist and ask for advice on the use of these.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM)
The Cardiologist will suggest performing a MAP study to diagnose and confirm the condition or, if you already have it, follow up at least once a year with such monitoring.
Blood pressure is one of the most important risk factors when it comes to cardiovascular disease. This is why the ABPM method is essential for diagnosis as well as for maintaining control of it.
Another way in which this monitoring is known, also called Blood Pressure Holter. This test obtains a measurement of the blood pressure during a certain period of time. Usually, it is 24 hours, and then this data is analyzed by your treating physician.
Making small changes in your habits and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you prevent the risk of high blood pressure, for example:
Do regular and continued physical exercise
Don't abuse alcohol
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintain a low-salt diet
Maintain good potassium intake
If you have noticed changes in your blood pressure levels, remember that it is best to seek prompt medical attention to prevent possible future complications. When you visit your Cardiologist, try to keep a detailed record of your symptoms, blood pressure measurements and what you think triggered those times when the reading was elevated. Contact us, we are here to help.
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