Blood pressure measures the force with which your blood moves through and pushes against the walls of your arteries. Calculated as two numbers (120/80), the systolic or upper number represents the pressure your arteries experience when your heart beats. The diastolic or lower number calculates the force occurring when your heart rests between beats. When your blood pressure is consistently high, you have hypertension (high blood pressure).
The strain hypertension places on your arteries can damage the blood vessel walls over time, causing them to become less elastic and thicker than normal. This decreases necessary blood flow to your organs. The longer your elevated blood pressure goes untreated, the more damage it causes. High blood pressure may cause:
Even at very high levels, people with elevated blood pressure typically have few symptoms. Some people may experience headaches or nosebleeds, but these symptoms are rare and don’t usually occur until your blood pressure reaches a life-threatening level.
Any blood pressure reading above 120/80 is considered higher than normal. However, because blood pressure can fluctuate, often increasing with stress and illness, Dr. Polavarapu may check your blood a few times over the course of several weeks to determine whether your blood pressure is consistently high.
Doctors also categorize hypertension into different stages:
The most effective treatment plan for hypertension is multifaceted and includes:
Other lifestyle changes known to decrease blood pressure include:
When lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough to return your blood pressure to a safe level, Dr. Polavarapu may recommend medication. Blood pressure medications include diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide that help with water retention and decrease sodium levels in your body.
Other medications such as beta-blockers (atenolol) open your blood vessels and cause your heart to beat slower and less forcefully. Sometimes it takes a combination of medications to effectively reduce your blood pressure.
At the office of HP Medical PC, we accept most major insurance plans. Please contact our office if you have any questions. It is the patient's responsibility to ensure eligibility. If you are a new patient and your insurance plan requires you to select a PCP, please do so before you come to the office. Dr. Polavarapu must be listed as your PCP in order to be seen. If you are participating in an Affordable Care Act Plan (aka Gold, Silver, etc), and have a deductible that has not been met, HP Medical PC policy requires you leave a $100 deposit. Should the insurance company remit the payment for your visit, the deposit will be refunded to you.
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