Hypertension is a condition where your blood pressure can reach dangerously high levels without you even realizing it. If you haven't had a blood pressure check lately, double board-certified cardiovascular specialist Anu Chirala, MD, FACC, at South Bay Cardiovascular Center in Morgan Hill, California, can help. Dr. Chirala has considerable expertise in diagnosing and treating hypertension and preventing serious outcomes like heart attack and stroke. Call South Bay Cardiovascular Center to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) indicates that your arteries are incurring damage due to the force at which blood is pumping through them. It may develop as a result of having an underlying condition like diabetes. You're also more likely to get hypertension as you age.
In many cases, hypertension is due to a high-fat diet, lack of exercise, and being overweight or obese. High cholesterol levels in your blood or an excess of other types of fats can cause hyperlipidemia, which leads to hypertension.
One of the most troubling aspects of hypertension is that you're likely to be unaware there's a problem, as the condition causes virtually no symptoms. You could have dangerously high blood pressure and feel fine until you suffer a potentially life-threatening stroke or heart attack.
For this reason, it's essential that you get regular blood pressure checks so you can tackle hypertension before you have a medical crisis.
A blood pressure check is quick and straightforward. Dr. Chirala wraps a blood pressure cuff around the bicep area of your upper arm, then inflates it. She takes one reading as your heart beats, which is the systolic pressure, and one in between beats, which is the diastolic pressure.
These two readings are your blood pressure measurement. A healthy person's blood pressure has a systolic pressure of 120 or below and a diastolic pressure of 80 or below. Raised blood pressure is 121-140 systolic and 81-90 diastolic.
If you have raised blood pressure, that's the early stages of hypertension, so you need to take action before it gets worse. If your blood pressure reading is over 140 systolic or over 90 diastolic, you have high blood pressure that requires urgent action.
A reading that exceeds 160 systolic or 100 diastolic indicates dangerously high blood pressure, so you have a high risk of stroke or heart attack.
Some of the chief causes of hypertension are excess weight, poor diet, and insufficient exercise, so making lifestyle changes can be highly effective in tackling high blood pressure.
Dr. Chirala is an expert in lifestyle medicine and can guide you with making healthier diet choices, getting more active, and managing your weight. Quitting smoking and reducing your stress levels also help.
If your hypertension is severe, you might need to take medication to lower it to a safer level. However, lifestyle medicine is the best approach to getting your blood pressure levels down safely in the long term.
To arrange your blood pressure check, call South Bay Cardiovascular Center today or book an appointment online.