Spring Valley Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine located in Washington, DC & Bethesda, MD
High blood pressure affects more than a billion adults worldwide today. In America, fewer than 25% of adults with high blood pressure manage their condition properly. Unfortunately, this means millions of Americans are at risk for stroke, kidney failure, heart attack, and other serious complications. If you have high blood pressure, get back to good health and reduce your risk for disease with help from the experts at Spring Valley Internal Medicine in Washington, DC, and Bethesda, Maryland. Take charge of your wellness by calling either office or booking an appointment online.
High Blood Pressure Q & A
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure means that your blood moves too forcefully through your circulatory system. Untreated, this high level of pressure can cause heart damage and lead to heart failure, stroke, or heart attack. High blood pressure causes around 1,300 deaths a day in America.
What does my blood pressure reading mean?
When your Spring Valley Internal Medicine provider checks your blood pressure, you get two numbers. The first number, systolic pressure, is the blood pressure while your heart beats, and the second, the diastolic pressure, is the pressure between beats.
- Normal blood pressure — less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic
- Elevated blood pressure — 120-129 systolic and less than 80 diastolic
- High blood pressure, stage 1 — 130-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic
- High blood pressure, stage 2 — 140 or higher systolic or 90 or higher diastolic
Your blood pressure reading can change depending on several factors. For example, blood pressure is usually higher in the middle of the day and lower in the evening. Medication, stress, and even anxiety about seeing the doctor can cause short-term spikes in your blood pressure.
Because of this, your Spring Valley Internal Medicine provider normally won’t diagnose you with high blood pressure unless you have consistently elevated or high blood pressure over several visits.
What factors increase risk of high blood pressure?
A family history of high blood pressure increases your own risk, as does aging. High blood pressure is most common in those of African heritage but occurs in all races. Other common risk factors for high blood pressure that you can control include:
- Lack of exercise
- High sodium intake
- Lack of dietary potassium
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Smoking or using chewing tobacco
Controllable chronic conditions, including obstructive sleep apnea and Type 2 diabetes, can also increase your risk of high blood pressure.
How do you treat high blood pressure?
The Spring Valley Internal Medicine team helps you make changes to improve your diet, lose weight, and add exercise to your routine to lower your blood pressure naturally.
If these changes aren’t enough, your provider may prescribe medication to remove excess fluid, slow down your heartbeat, or relax your blood vessels.
If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, call Spring Valley Internal Medicine or click on the online appointment scheduler to book your visit.
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