What is Hypertension?
By Grand Rapids Cardiology
August 27, 2018
Category: Cardiology

Hypertension GraphicHypertension, better known as high blood pressure, affects over 100 million adult Americans according to the American Heart Association. One in five adults don't even know they have this condition. It is a concern for doctors and cardiologists because it can cause a number of secondary diseases that may require aggressive, long-term treatment. Visit Dr. Ronald VanderLaan at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI to have your vitals checked and learn more about the common symptoms of hypertension.

About Hypertension
One of the first things your doctor does when you visit the office is check your blood pressure—sometimes twice. That is because this reading says a lot about what may be going on in your body. When your blood pressure is consistently higher than what is considered normal (about 120/80), that is called hypertension. The blood is pumping too much against the vessels. Symptoms include intense headaches, light-headedness, fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, vision problems, and chest pains. It increases the risk of developing a number of health concerns, including heart attack or failure, stroke, and kidney disease.

Hypertension Risks
High blood pressure is important to monitor because it can put you at risk for developing other health conditions, including heart complications and vascular issues. It is often hereditary, which is why your Grand Rapids, MI cardiologist will ask if there is a history of hypertension or heart disease in your family. Other risk factors that contribute to hypertension include poor diet, obesity, smoking, elevated stress, and lack of regular exercise. In some cases, high blood pressure develops because of another medical issue, like a thyroid imbalance, sleep apnea, or taking certain medications.

Getting Help with High Blood Pressure
It's best to have hypertension diagnosed and treated by your heart doctor as early as possible so that the treatments will most likely be conservative. These are some of the possible treatments you'll discuss with your cardiologist:

- Medication to help get and keep blood pressure under control (including ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and diuretics).
- Dietary recommendations for weight loss and consultation about lifestyle factors.
- Monthly visits to check the pressure level until it is normal.

Consult Your Cardiologist
Let a doctor at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI treat your hypertension and help keep your heart and overall cardiovascular system healthy. Call (616) 717-5141 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ronald VanderLaan.