High blood pressure is a common condition that causes your blood to push against the walls of your arteries with more force than usual. When high blood pressure goes untreated or poorly treated for too long, it can cause significant damage to your circulatory system, substantially increasing your risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, kidney disease, and peripheral artery disease. At CardioHealth in Jacksonville, Florida, board-certified cardiologist Ramon Castello MD, FACC, FASE provides a complete range of effective and individualized 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 contracts because that’s when it pumps blood through your arteries. That's known as systolic pressure. When your heart relaxes, your blood pressure goes down. That's 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 less than 120/80 mmHg is considered normal.
If your systolic pressure is between 120 and 129 mmHg and your diastolic pressure is less than 80 mmHg, you have elevated blood pressure and may need medical treatment.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when your systolic blood pressure is greater than 130 mmHg or the diastolic blood pressure is greater than 80 mmHg.
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 are not aware of their condition. Also, only half of those aware of their condition have it adequately managed and controlled.
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 and his team always check your blood pressure in every visit.
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 diet, leading an inactive lifestyle, drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes, living with chronic stress, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Hypertension tends to develop as a person ages. 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.
Younger individuals may also develop hypertension, which requires specific investigations to find the cause.
If such lifestyle interventions don’t work quickly enough, Dr. Castello may prescribe medication to help lower your blood pressure more effectively.
Medical treatment with Dr. Castello is very individualized; at Cardiohealth, there’s a great emphasis on finding the appropriate treatment for the individual patient.
To learn all the ways you can keep high blood pressure in check, call or book an appointment with Dr. Castello today.