High blood pressure is a common condition that affects many people each year. MainStreet Family Care is here to educate you on the symptoms, risk factors, testing and diagnosis methods, complications, treatments, and prevention associated with this condition. 

What Is High Blood Pressure? 

High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when the force of the blood in your blood vessels is consistently high, which can cause various symptoms and complications. This condition is dangerous as it makes your heart pump even harder to sustain blood flow around the body. Additionally, it can damage your arteries by making them elastic and decreasing the amount of oxygen your organs are receiving.

Below are a couple of different types:

Primary Hypertension 

Lifestyle factors, including age, weight, diet, and exercise routine, cause primary hypertension. This type typically goes away with lifestyle changes. 

Secondary Hypertension

Secondary hypertension is caused by components not directly related to lifestyles, such as medication or other conditions. One of the prime examples of secondary hypertension is pregnancy. 

If you suspect you have hypertension, it is important to get an official diagnosis quickly, and begin a treatment plan as soon as possible not to damage your circulatory system. At MainStreet Family Care, we offer high blood pressure diagnosis and treatment in our primary care services

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Step 1: Signup for the Patient Portal 

Step 2: Schedule Your First Appointment 

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If you already have a portal account, simply log in.

Symptoms Of Hypertension

Many people will not experience noticeable symptoms of hypertension. However, in rare cases of extremely high blood pressure, people may experience the following symptoms: 

  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Issues with vision 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches

Since you will likely not experience different signs of this condition, getting checked annually or semi-annually is essential to ensure you do not have hypertension. 

Risk Factors For Hypertension  

Many risk factors may cause a person to develop this condition if they are over thirty. Men are more likely to develop high blood pressure, but this condition also affects many women. Some of the most pertinent risks relate to lifestyle factors such as: 

  • Unhealthy diet
  • High sodium intake
  • Not being physically active
  • Smoking 
  • Heavy alcohol consumption

By eliminating these risk factors and attempting to lead a healthy lifestyle, the risk of developing high blood pressure becomes much lower. 

Other factors can contribute to the development of hypertension, but these may not be totally avoidable. For example, as previously mentioned, pregnancy is a risk factor for high blood pressure. The condition typically subsides after giving birth, but your provider may prescribe medications to help manage it while you are expecting. 

Some medications used to treat other diseases can also cause high blood pressure. When prescribed this medication, your provider will let you know if hypertension is a side effect. 

Testing and Diagnosis 

The first step to getting diagnosed is receiving a blood pressure reading. Your provider will likely check the blood pressure in both of your arms to make sure they are getting an accurate reading. 

If your blood pressure looks high, they may run a series of tests to determine what is causing or worsening the issue. Some of these tests include: 

  • Blood sugar tests
  • Cholesterol tests
  • Blood tests to check your kidney, liver, and thyroid functions
  • ECG or EKG
  • Ambulatory monitoring
  • Echocardiogram

In addition to getting your blood pressure checked at a medical provider’s office, it is important to check your blood pressure measurement elsewhere regularly. This can consist of getting an at-home reader or testing at your local pharmacy.

What Are The Treatment Options? 

Treating high blood pressure is crucial due to its long term effects. Upon diagnosis, your provider will curate a treatment plan that fits your needs. To treat high blood pressure, you may be prescribed blood pressure medicine, including but not limited to: 

  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Beta-blockers
  • Alpha-blockers 
  • ACE inhibitors
  • ARBs 

Treating high blood pressure does not end with taking medication, as there are several other ways to control the condition. To control high blood pressure, you can try the following: 

  • Losing weight if you are overweight
  • Incorporating healthier foods into your diet. 
  • Reducing your fat and sodium intake.
  • Exercise three to four times a week. 
  • Reduce stress in any way possible. 
  • Stop smoking.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. 

Sign Up Now! 

Step 1: Signup for the Patient Portal 

Step 2: Schedule Your First Appointment 

Register New Patient Portal Account

If you already have a portal account, simply log in.

Complications Of Hypertension

Untreated hypertension can cause a plethora of other diseases and conditions. Since this condition restricts your blood flow, your circulatory system must work overtime to try and keep your organs oxygenated. Some of the conditions that long term hypertension can lead to include: 

  • Chest pain 
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure 
  • Irregular heartbeats 

How To Prevent High Blood Pressure 

Preventing hypertension begins with sustaining a healthy lifestyle. These methods include:  

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly (or regular physical activity) 
  • Taking the medications prescribed to you
  • Visiting your primary care provider yearly
  • Maintain a healthy weight

These steps are essential if you are over thirty, as your risk of hypertension increases the older you get. 

Turn To MainStreet Family Care

 MainStreet Family Care can help! To visit one of our clinics, sign up for the patient portal and schedule your first appointment. If you are already a patient, log into your account and schedule your appointment. 

Sign Up Now! 

Step 1: Signup for the Patient Portal 

Step 2: Schedule Your First Appointment 

Register New Patient Portal Account

If you already have a portal account, simply log in.