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High Blood Pressure Specialist

Alpha Family Medicine Inc.

Primary Care & Geriatric Care Specialists located in Alpharetta, GA

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most common health conditions in the United States, one that can lead to serious and even life-threatening conditions if left unchecked. Though it can advance for months without any noticeable symptoms, it can be tested for easily and quickly, and can also be managed, especially when caught early. For a blood pressure test or to get treatment for hypertension, call Alpha Family Medicine Inc. in Alpharetta, Georgia, today, or make an appointment with the online scheduling tool.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What is high blood pressure?

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a very common condition where the pressure your blood pumping puts excess strain on the vessels carrying it. Your blood pressure can rise when your heart is pumping harder or when your arteries and veins become narrower, due to clogs or other factors.

How can I recognize high blood pressure?

High blood pressure usually develops gradually over time, with no symptoms in its early stages. Because hypertension often only has noticeable symptoms until it has become dangerously advanced, it’s imperative that you get regular tests of your blood pressure. This can instantly and easily tell you if you have hypertension.

Late-stage hypertension can have symptoms, including headaches, shortness of breath, and nosebleeds. If you experience any of these, see a doctor immediately.

How can I prevent high blood pressure?

The first step of prevention is to know your risk levels. A variety of factors make you more likely to have high blood pressure, so you should be especially careful if any of these factors apply to you:

  • Age: The older you get, the more likely you are to have high blood pressure, especially after age 65.
  • Race: African Americans are predisposed to elevated blood pressure.
  • Smoking and alcohol use: If you smoke or drink to excess, you dramatically raise your risk of high blood pressure.
  • Weight: Obese and overweight people are much more likely to have high blood pressure, as are people with sedentary lifestyles.
  • Diet: Eating too much salt is linked to high blood pressure, as is not getting enough potassium.
  • Chronic conditions: Certain conditions, like sleep apnea and kidney disease, can make you more likely to have high blood pressure.

Whether or not you are at elevated risk of hypertension, you can take these steps to avoid it:

  • Eat a healthier diet
  • Cut down on sodium (salt) in your diet
  • Increase your level of exercise
  • Cut down on alcohol and stop smoking
  • Monitor your blood pressure at home

With these techniques and a focus on reducing stress, you can give your body its best chance to avoid the risks of high blood pressure.

What are the risks of high blood pressure?

Left to its own devices, high blood pressure can lead to:

  • Heart disease, like congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy and heart attack
  • Aneurysm
  • Weakened or failing kidneys
  • Damage to blood vessels in the eyes, leading to blindness
  • Metabolic syndrome, raising your chances of diabetes and stroke
  • Dementia

Many of these serious health issues can be avoided easily by monitoring your blood pressure, but are extremely difficult or impossible to cure themselves.

How is high blood pressure treated?

Fortunately, there are a number of options for managing your blood pressure. Once you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor will probably prescribe one of several types of medication to help keep it within a healthy range. In addition, you’ll likely be asked to make one or more changes to your diet and lifestyle. It’s important to take these seriously, as medication alone is usually not enough to control high blood pressure on its own.

If you have high blood pressure and are interested in treatment or if you have any questions, call the office today, or make an appointment online.