Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, affects a large portion of the population and can lead to more serious health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
High blood pressure does not develop over night, but rather over several years, and almost everyone is affected by it at some point in their life. Hypertension is easy to detect though, and once diagnosed an Ogden Clinic specialist in Utah can recommend an appropriate course of treatment.
For most adults with primary hypertension, there are no identifiable symptoms and the cause is often unknown. Secondary hypertension is caused by some other underlying health condition and appears more suddenly than primary hypertension. These conditions can include:
To measure your blood pressure, an Ogden Clinic specialist will use an inflatable arm cuff and a pressure-measuring gauge. Blood pressure readings are given in mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) and have two numbers. The upper number is the amount of pressure in your arteries as your heart beats, also known as systolic pressure. The lower number is the amount of pressure in your arteries between beats of the heart, known as diastolic pressure. Your blood pressure is normal if it measures below 120/80 mm Hg. For anything that measures higher, you are placed into one of three categories: prehypertension, stage 1 hypertension, and stage 2 hypertension.
For most patients, high blood pressure can be managed through simple lifestyle changes. These include exercising more regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet with less salt, and quitting smoking. If lifestyle changes alone do not reduce your high blood pressure, then your doctor may prescribe medications to help return it to a lower level.
Since hypertension does not usually have any distinct symptoms, you may not know when it is time to get checked for it. It is best for adults over the age of 18, to have a blood pressure test done at least every 2 years as part of a regular check-up. If you have recently been diagnosed with hypertension or would like to test see where your blood pressure levels are at, contact Ogden Clinic in Utah to set up your appointment.