High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

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What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is a condition that puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. It does not usually cause symptoms. But it can be serious.

When your doctor or nurse tells you your blood pressure, he or she will say 2 numbers. For instance, your doctor or nurse might say that your blood pressure is “140 over 90.” The top number is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is contracting. The bottom number is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is relaxed.

The table shows how doctors and nurses define high and normal blood pressure. “Elevated blood pressure” is a term doctors or nurses use as a warning.

High Top Number: 130 or above Bottom Number:  80 or above
Elevated Top Number:120 to 129 Bottom Number: 79 or below
Normal Top Number:119 or below Bottom Number: 79 or below

People with elevated blood pressure do not yet have high blood pressure. But their blood pressure is not as low as it should be for good health.

How can I lower my blood pressure? — If your doctor or nurse has prescribed blood pressure medicine, the most important thing you can do is to take it. If it causes side effects, do not just stop taking it. Instead, talk to your doctor or nurse about the problems it causes. He or she might be able to lower your dose or switch you to another medicine. If cost is a problem, mention that too. He or she might be able to put you on a less expensive medicine. Taking your blood pressure medicine can keep you from having a heart attack or stroke, and it can save your life!

Can I do anything on my own? — You have a lot of control over your blood pressure. To lower it:

Lose weight (if you are overweight)

Choose a diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products

Reduce the amount of salt you eat

Do something active for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week

Cut down on alcohol (if you drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day)

It’s also a good idea to get a home blood pressure meter. People who check their own blood pressure at home do better at keeping it low and can sometimes even reduce the amount of medicine they take.

Dr.Paul Kattupalli’s Approach to High Blood Pressure: 

He will first determine where your numbers fall:

Normal blood pressure – Systolic <120 mmHg and diastolic <80 mmHg

Elevated blood pressure – Systolic 120 to 129 mmHg and diastolic <80 mmHg

Hypertension:

Stage 1 – Systolic 130 to 139 mmHg or diastolic 80 to 89 mmHg

Stage 2 – Systolic at least 140 mmHg or diastolic at least 90 mmHg

Then he will evaluate the influence of high blood pressure on your body 

The extent of target-organ damage, if any

The presence of established cardiovascular or renal disease

The presence or absence of other cardiovascular risk factors

Lifestyle factors that could potentially contribute to hypertension

Potential interfering substances (eg, chronic use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs [NSAIDs], oral contraceptives)

How does he treat your high blood pressure? 

Lifestyle modification: Dietary salt restriction, weight loss, DASH diet, Exercise, potassium supplementation.

●Medications: He may start a medication to treat your high blood pressure. Commonly used medications fall under the following categories: 

Thiazide diuretics

Long-acting calcium channel blockers (most often a dihydropyridine such as amlodipine)

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors

Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)

•Beta Blockers 

In older adults with severe frailty, dementia, and/or a limited life expectancy, or in patients who are non-ambulatory or institutionalized (eg, reside in a skilled nursing facility), he will individualize goals and share decision-making with the patient, relatives, and caretakers, rather than targeting one of the blood pressure goals mentioned above.

If you want a comprehensive treatment plan for your high blood pressure, please visit our clinic or call us 814 424 2095.

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