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Hypertension: Chronic Disease Management

Mar 02, 2024

Hypertension: Chronic Disease Management

Nearly half of Americans have hypertension and most don’t know it. Hypertension often has no noticeable symptoms but poses major health risks including heart disease, stroke, and death. Learn how to detect and manage hypertension.

Nearly half of Americans have hypertension and most have no idea. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is when your blood pushes on your artery wall is consistently too high.

While it might not sound like a big deal, it can pose major health risks including heart disease, stroke, and even death. High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because it presents no obvious symptoms.

Do you want to know more about hypertension? Are you diagnosed with the condition? We’re here to help. Copperfield Family Clinic, located in Houston, Texas, offers a variety of chronic disease management for patients living with hypertension.

What is hypertension?

More than 122 million Americans over the age of 20 have high blood pressure. Even if you don’t have high blood pressure right now, your blood pressure will likely increase with age. More than two-thirds of people over 65 have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure doesn’t always have symptoms, but they can appear in some people. Noticeable signs include:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision or vision changes
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing

Risk factors for hypertension include:

  • Older age
  • Genetics
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not exercising
  • Consuming a high-salt diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol

The most damaging effect of high blood pressure is overworking your heart and blood vessels, leading to tissue and artery damage.

How to read the numbers

Research proves that most Americans don’t know the normal range for blood pressure, even though they think they do. This poses a huge risk because even if you’re monitoring your blood pressure, you might not be doing it correctly. We’re here to break it down for you in simple terms.

Blood pressure is read in two numbers. Systolic, the top number, records the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number — referred to as diastolic pressure — measures the pressure in your arteries between heartbeats. 

Blood pressure readings include:

Normal: 120/80 milliliters Hg or lower

Stage 1 hypertension: 130/80 mm Hg

Stage 2 hypertension: 140/90 mm Hg

Hypertension must be a confirmed diagnosis by a health care professional. If you think you have high blood pressure, Regina Ottan-Obi, FNP, DNP is here to lend a hand.

Managing high blood pressure

While high blood pressure isn’t curable, it’s treatable. Dr. Ottan-Obi helps patients with treatments to live a long, healthy life. Treatments may include:

Weight loss

Weight loss is one of the most effective treatments for controlling high blood pressure. If you’re overweight or obese, losing just a small amount of weight can have a great impact. For every two pounds you lose, your blood pressure is expected to go down by one milliliter of mercury.

Quit smoking

Smoking raises your blood pressure. Smoking injures the walls of your blood vessels and can make the arteries narrower. Stopping smoking reduces your risk of heart disease and can even lengthen your lifespan. 

Reduce stress

Long-term stress is thought to be linked to hypertension. Reducing your stress by avoiding triggers such as driving in traffic and spending time with stressful people can improve your well-being. Practicing yoga, mindfulness, and meditation are simple ways to make a great impact.

Limit sodium in your diet

Americans are known for eating a high-sodium diet. Even a small reduction in sodium is shown to reduce blood pressure by 5-6 mm Hg. 

Always opt to consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. You can help limit your sodium intake by checking food labels, limiting processed foods, and cooking at home.

Medication

The American Heart Organization suggests patients with stage 1 or stage 2 hypertension start taking medication if they are unable to lower blood pressure with lifestyle changes after six months. 

There are many different medications available that help lower blood pressure safely and effectively. For most patients, no side effects occur. Managing your blood pressure can save your life by reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Put your health front and center today by scheduling a consultation. Call 281-789-6477 or book online.