High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is one of the most common health conditions diagnosed in patients each year. The American Heart Association estimates that over 100 million Americans have hypertension. Most people will likely have elevated blood pressure at some point in their lives due to the natural aging process. We at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI, can test your blood pressure and advise you on how to manage your health if it's consistently high.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the intensity with which your blood presses against the vessels in your body as it pumps to and from the heart. If your doctor repeatedly finds your blood pressure to be high after multiple checks you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure. The World Health Organization defines high pressure as a reading of over 140 systolic or over 90 diastolic (or both). An urgent visit to a doctor is recommended if blood pressure levels significantly and persistently exceed these levels.
High Blood Pressure Causes
You may be surprised to learn that you have an issue with hypertension and wonder where it came from. High blood pressure has a number of potential causes that you can discuss with a Grand Rapids, MI, cardiology specialist:
- Poor diet (eating high sodium, fatty foods in particular).
- Being overweight or obese and avoiding regular exercise.
- Uncontrolled or untreated diabetes.
- Maintaining a very stressful lifestyle.
- Long-term substance abuse or tobacco smoking.
- A family history of hypertension or heart disease.
Why You Should Manage Your Blood Pressure
Without proper management, high blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular disease and put a patient at risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. It causes light-headedness, fatigue, and can make it more difficult to function normally during the day. Luckily, this condition can be controlled with dietary and weight changes, as well as medications (statins, beta blockers, and/or water pills) if prescribed by your doctor.
Get Help from a Cardiologist
Your cardiologist is the point person for helping you lower your blood pressure to a consistently normal level. Call (616) 717-5141 today to schedule a visit to Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI.