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Posts for tag: Hypertension

April 13, 2020
Category: General
Tags: Hypertension  

FAQs about Hypertension

Hypertension, commonly called high blood pressure, is one of those sneaky conditions that can affect your health without causing noticeable symptoms. Fortunately, Dr. Ronald VanderLaan, your cardiologist at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI, can help you manage your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing hypertension-related health conditions.

Why is high blood pressure dangerous?

The pressure created by the pumping action of your heart helps blood reach every part of your body. Higher than normal pressure causes the heart to work harder and damages the vessels that transport the blood. When the blood vessels become damaged, you're more likely to develop atherosclerosis. The condition occurs when plaque builds up and hardens in your arteries, reducing blood flow and limiting the amount of oxygen the heart receives. Unfortunately, atherosclerosis is also a factor in high blood pressure.

High blood pressure can increase your risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, angina, peripheral artery disease, irregular heartbeat, vision loss, and erectile dysfunction.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

You can have high blood pressure even if you feel perfectly fine. In fact, hypertension rarely causes symptoms unless it's severe. Even though you might not experience any symptoms, your blood vessels and heart may still be damaged by the condition.

If you have severe hypertension, you may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Blood in the urine
  • A pounding sensation in your ears, neck or chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness

If you experience these symptoms, call your Grand Rapids heart doctor immediately or go to the emergency room.

How can I reduce my hypertension risk?

Embracing a heart-healthy diet is a simple way to lower your risk of hypertension. Fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, lean meats and whole grains provide the vitamins and nutrients you need for good health. Avoid or limit salty or sugary foods and use unsaturated fats when preparing meals.

Regular blood pressure screenings are also important. Although your blood pressure may have always been fine in the past, your risk of hypertension rises as you grow older.

If you are diagnosed with hypertension, your cardiologist can recommend lifestyle modifications and prescribe medications that lower your blood pressure, if necessary.

Concerned? Give us a call

Protect your health with hypertension treatment and screenings at Grand Rapids Cardiology! Call your Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist, Dr. Vanderlaan, at (616) 717-5141 to schedule your appointment.


By Grand Rapids Cardiology
April 13, 2020
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Hypertension  

Hypertension is another word for high blood pressure. Although your blood pressure normally fluctuates throughout the day depending on what you are doing, if your blood pressure is constantly above normal, you may have hypertension.

Ronald L. VanderLaan is a cardiologist in Grand Rapids that treats many patients who suffer from hypertension—read on to learn how he can help your blood pressure issues.

High Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer

An estimated one in three Americans suffers from high blood pressure. It is often called the silent killer because many people experience no symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, they may include:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Chest pain

Even without symptoms, high blood pressure can still cause damage to your heart and blood vessels. Left untreated, high blood pressure can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack. Fortunately, hypertension is easily detected if you have a routine blood pressure check. Once you have been diagnosed, your doctor will help you manage your high blood pressure.

Types of Hypertension

There are two types of hypertension:

  • Primary Hypertension: Also known as essential hypertension, this type usually develops gradually over several years. The cause of primary hypertension is not known.
  • Secondary Hypertension: In this case, hypertension is caused by an underlying condition. Its onset can be sudden, and the blood pressure is usually higher than in cases of primary hypertension. Conditions that can cause secondary hypertension include:
    • Kidney problems
    • Sleep apnea
    • Adrenal gland tumors
    • Congenital defects
    • Thyroid problems

How you can Take Control of Your Blood Pressure

You can significantly lower your blood pressure by making some relatively simple lifestyle adjustments, such as:

  • Maintain a healthy weight level
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat regular meals
  • Avoid saturated fat
  • Reduce your sodium intake
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Get regular aerobic exercise
  • Limit your intake of alcohol
  • Limit your intake of caffeine

When it comes to high blood pressure, making these simple lifestyle changes can mean the difference between life and death.

If you live in Grand Rapids, MI, and are concerned about hypertension, call Grand Rapids Cardiology at (616) 717-5141.

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
February 19, 2020
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Hypertension  

Manage Your Hypertension

According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of Americans have hypertension - commonly known as high blood pressure - and for many it has gone undiagnosed. And without medical intervention, hypertension can lead to heart disease, stroke or kidney or heart failure.

If you suspect you have hypertension, or have been diagnosed with the condition, Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids can help you manage your hypertension so you can live your healthiest life.

What are some of the signs of hypertension?

Symptoms of hypertension may not be immediately evident, so it is important you visit with the experts at our Grand Rapids office if you are considered at a greater risk for hypertension. If you are overweight, a smoker, sedentary, frequently stressed, consume a poor diet or have a history of the disease, be especially mindful of signs including confusion, dizziness, chest pains, headaches or fatigue.

How can I manage my hypertension?

Your specialist at our Grand Rapids office may recommend lifestyle changes, medication or a combination of the two.

Lifestyle changes may include incorporating regular exercise into your week and adapting your diet to consume less fat, salt and alcohol and more fresh fruits and vegetables. You may also be advised to practice stress reduction techniques, such as meditation.

Additionally, it is important to quit if you are a smoker, and if you are overweight achieving a healthy body weight can help with keeping your hypertension under control.

At our Grand Rapids office, we can also prescribe medications for hypertension management. Depending on the severity of your hypertension and your specific needs, you may be prescribed one or more of the following:

  • Beta and alpha blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Central agonists
  • vasodilators

Each of these medications performs a specific task, such as lowering heart rate, relaxing the vascular walls, or flushing excess sodium out of the body. Your specialist at our Grand Rapids office will walk you through the unique attributes and purpose of your recommended medication.

With the help of Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI, you can keep your hypertension in check and live life to fullest. Call us today at (616) 717-5141.

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
March 12, 2019
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Hypertension  

Are you suffering from high blood pressure?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common long-term condition that forces blood against a person's artery walls, which blood pressurecauses health problems like coronary heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Your Grand Rapids, MI, doctor can tell you more about high blood pressure.

More About Hypertension

Many people who suffer from high blood pressure don't even know it. You need to visit your doctor on a regular basis for medical check-ups, which usually starts at age 3. Fortunately, high blood pressure is easily detected and controlled.

You need a blood pressure reading from your Grand Rapids physician every two years, starting at age 18. If you are 40 years or older, or have a high risk of high blood pressure, you need a blood pressure reading every year.

Your doctor checks both arms to determine if there's a difference.

You can also measure your blood pressure at home and/or at a pharmacy, a helpful place to get information about your blood pressure, although going your to your doctor is a better option. Your Grand Rapids physician's machine is more accurate because it depends on several factors like cuff size and the proper use of the machines.


  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Pounding in the head or chest
  • Sharp chest pains
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion

There are several reasons that result in high blood pressure.

Some of those reasons include:

  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Diet high in saturated fat and/or sodium
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being male
  • High stress levels
  • Age
  • Excessive drinking
  • Diabetes


Some people naturally have high blood pressure but you need to be tested in order to figure out if that's the case or if there's an issue. You'll need to call Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI, at (616) 717-5141 to schedule your appointment or ask any questions about hypertension today!

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
February 27, 2019
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Hypertension  

Keep your blood pressure in check with the help of Grand Rapids Cardiology

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious problem. After all, having high blood pressure can put you at an increased risk for heart cardiologistdisease or stroke. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 adults will develop high blood pressure during their lifetime. Read below to learn some lifestyle habits that you can adapt to keep your blood pressure in check, and contact the Grand Rapids, MI, office of cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan for a personal consultation on the subject.


Maintain an Ideal Weight

Weight is a major factor when it comes to being at risk for high blood pressure. If your heart doctor in Grand Rapids, MI, has told you that you are overweight or obese, it’s important that you lose the weight safely to prevent high blood pressure. Even losing 10 pounds can help lower your blood pressure. Before starting a new diet or exercise regimen, consult our cardiologist to find out the best approach for losing weight safely.


Eat a Healthy Diet

Another major factor that contributes to your health is your diet. A healthy diet consists of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt. If you have high blood pressure or borderline high blood pressure, following the DASH diet may help you manage your blood pressure more effectively.


Get Regular Exercise

Getting yourself up and moving is a great way to stave off hypertension. Of course, when people think about physical activity they often think they have to hop on a treadmill or go to the gym. If that isn’t your thing, don’t worry; there are many ways to get moderate exercise without having to purchase a gym membership. You can ride your bike through the local park or grab a walking buddy to walk 30 minutes a day 3-4 times a week.


Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Just as salt can have a major impact on your blood pressure, so too can alcohol. If you are having trouble getting your blood pressure under control and you drink alcohol, you may want to cut back. This means having only one drink a day for women and no more than two for men.


Give Us a Call!

Whether you have questions about maintaining a healthy blood pressure or you are dealing with high blood pressure right now, it is a great idea to turn to the medical team at Grand Rapids Cardiology for the care that you need. Call us today at (616) 717-5141.