The heart pumps blood into the arteries in order to provide oxygen and other essential nutrients to the body. Sometimes, due to disease or other contributing factors, the force of the pumping can be too much for the walls of the arteries to handle. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common medical condition in which the measurement of the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries is high enough to be damaging to the arteries.
What is the prevalence of hypertension in Phoenix, Az residents?
According to the best heart doctors in Phoenix, nearly everyone will experience high blood pressure at some point in life, whether from unhealthy lifestyle, heredity or aging. Many people have high blood pressure for several years without knowing until complications arise. Uncontrolled hypertension can put excess strain on the heart, leading to heart and arterial diseases, heart attack, stroke and numerous other life-threatening conditions.
What causes hypertension?
Arteries and veins loose elasticity with age, causing blood pressure to go up. High-salt diet, dehydration, poor organ and blood vessel function and hormones all influence blood pressure. The majority of the time, however, no cause is pinpointed.
The following factors also put a person at an increased risk for hypertension:
- Race (African American)
- Chronic stress
- Alcohol abuse
- Family history
High blood pressure can also be caused indirectly or secondary to another condition or from taking certain medications. This type of hypertension is caused by:
- Chronic organ diseases (kidney disease)
- Adrenal disorders
- Thyroid disorders
- Pregnancy and associated complications
- Hormonal medications, diet pills, some cold and migraine medicines
How is hypertension diagnosed?
Hypertension is easily diagnosed by a Phoenix circulation doctor using a blood pressure cuff and a physical exam. A blood pressure cuff determines blood pressure in two ways – one that tells how much blood is being pushed through the heart when it contracts and another to reveal how much resistance to the blood flow there may be. If there is a lot of blood being pumped through narrowed arteries, the blood pressure will be high.
Normal blood pressure is lower than 120 over 80 (120/80 mmHg). Either one or both of these numbers must be high in order to classify someone as having high blood pressure.
How it hypertension treated?
Mild cases of hypertension can often be controlled at home through a healthy low-sodium diet and regular exercise. Quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing stress are other effective ways to reduce blood pressure.
However, not all instances of hypertension can be adequately decreased by healthy lifestyle alone. A physician may prescribe a pressure-reducing medication or combination of medications when necessary.
The heart care specialists in Phoenix offer patients quality care with the some of the most advanced tools and techniques available today. To learn more about hypertension and treatment options, give us a call at 888-377-7122. We look forward to hearing from you.