High blood pressure is a common condition that causes your blood to push against the walls of your arteries with more force than normal. When chronically high blood pressure goes untreated for too long, it can cause major damage to your circulatory system, increasing your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, peripheral artery disease, and a variety of other serious health problems. At CardioHealth in Jacksonville, Florida, board-certified cardiologist Ramon Castello MD, FACC, FASE provides a complete range of effective treatment solutions for patients with high blood pressure. To learn more, call or book an appointment online today.
Blood pressure refers to the amount of force your blood exerts against the walls of your arteries as it flows, both when your heart beats and when it rests.
Your blood pressure is at its highest when your heart beats because that’s when it pumps blood through your arteries. This is known as systolic pressure. When your heart rests between beats, your blood pressure goes down. This is known as diastolic pressure.
Your blood pressure measurement uses these two numbers, with the systolic number coming before the diastolic number. A blood pressure reading of 119/79 or lower is considered normal.
If your systolic pressure is between 120 and 139, or your diastolic pressure is between 80 and 89, you may have prehypertension, which means you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, means your blood pressure reads 140/90 or higher.
About one in three adults in the United States have high blood pressure. Another one in three adults is affected by prehypertension.
Roughly half of all people with high blood pressure have taken steps to keep their condition under control.
High blood pressure has been called a “silent killer” because you can live with the condition for years without having any noticeable signs or symptoms. That’s why Dr. Castello checks your blood pressure during each visit, whether it’s a regular check-up to your primary care physician or an unexpected trip to urgent care.
For the average person with high blood pressure, there isn’t usually one specific underlying cause. In most cases, a variety of factors contribute to its development, including:
Being overweight or obese puts extra stress on your blood vessels because it requires them to handle an increased blood volume to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to your tissues.
Getting older increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. Men are more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension before the age of 55, while women are more likely to develop the condition after the age of 55.
Having close family members with high blood pressure means you’re more likely to develop the condition, as it tends to run in families.
Other factors that may play a role in the development of hypertension include eating a high-sodium or low-potassium diet, leading an inactive lifestyle, drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and living with chronic stress.
Primary high blood pressure, the most common form of the condition, tends to develop as a person ages. This type of hypertension typically responds well to specific lifestyle changes, such as eating a heart-healthy diet that’s low in sodium, staying physically active, losing excess body weight, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, and managing stress levels.
If such lifestyle interventions don’t work quickly enough, Dr. Castello may prescribe medication to help lower your blood pressure more effectively.
Secondary high blood pressure, which is either caused by a separate medical condition or taking certain medicines, can usually be kept in check once the thing that’s causing it is treated or resolved.
To learn all the ways you can keep high blood pressure in check, call or book an appointment with Dr. Castello today.