Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured by the force the blood vessels and arteries experience. Systolic pressure is a measure when the heart is pumping and diastolic is a measure of the heart at rest between beats. Normal readings for blood pressure are between 90-120 for systolic pressure and 60-80 for diastolic pressure. Your pressure will vary throughout the day due to physical activity, stress, and diet.
High blood pressure can often go undetected due to lack of symptoms. Without medical oversight, the first sign a patient may have of high blood pressure is a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease. To avoid such an extreme method of diagnosis, patients should be routinely screened for blood pressure during annual wellness visits, acute care, or hospital visits. Inexpensive home blood pressure monitors can also help patients check their pressure and keep track of readings for their doctor. If your readings are higher than normal range,
Your cholesterol levels also need to be checked as cholesterol can build up in the bloodstream and acts as a dam to the blood. This forces the heart to exert more force in order to pump blood effectively through the whole body. Dr. Boyd will test your cholesterol and prescribe medication if it should be reduced.
Treatment for high blood pressure depends on its severity. If your blood pressure is just above the normal range, you may be able to get it under control with dietary changes, weight loss, and regular exercise. If it is much higher, medication is more likely to be the best to get your blood pressure where it should be, quickly. These medications include MAOI inhibitors, beta-blockers, and vasodilators. These medications will thin the blood and reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood stream.
A focus on dietary changes will involve lowering your salt consumption. As processed foods are known to contain higher levels of salt and other chemicals not needed by the human body, eating whole unprocessed foods is recommended for all patients. Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption if necessary will also improve your overall health.
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