Hypertension (High Blood Pressure Treatment) Questions and Answers
Michael Twyman, MD Integrative Cardiology offers treatment for hypertension or high blood pressure. Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We are conveniently located at 1034 S Brentwood Blvd, Suite 1230, Saint Louis, MO 63117.
What is Hypertension?
Virtually everyone, at one time or another, has either exercised, played an active sport, had a physically demanding job, or had times throughout their day that involved stressful situations, that led to a feeling of their heart racing, or pounding. Blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day, based primarily on the activities you’ve taken part in, or if stressful experiences occurred. These things can cause the blood pressure to rise, however, there are also internal issues that can cause blood pressure to rise. Hypertension is the medical terminology used to describe blood pressure that is consistently higher than normal, or high blood pressure. When blood pressure rises above normal levels on a consistent basis, the force of the blood against the artery walls can lead to other serious health problems. Some of which could potentially be fatal, like heart attack, stroke, or cause long-term problems like heart disease.
What causes Hypertension?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition that usually develops over time, and the primary factors that lead to hypertension are unhealthy lifestyle choices, lack of physical activity, and blood plasma volume. Obesity, or diabetes, may also increase the risk of hypertension. Hypertension may also occur during pregnancy. For the mother and her unborn baby’s well-being, blood pressure is closely monitored.
There are two diagnosable types of high blood pressure:
Primary hypertension (essential) – No identifiable cause of the high blood pressure. For most adults, primary hypertension develops gradually over years.
Secondary hypertension – High blood pressure caused by underlying medical condition. Appears suddenly, unlike primary hypertension. Various medications and conditions can cause secondary hypertension, which include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Congenital blood defects
- Thyroid problems (hyperactive or hypoactive)
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Drug abuse (Cocaine and amphetamines)
What are the symptoms of Hypertension?
The majority of people with hypertension, even if showing dangerously high blood pressure levels, show no symptoms. If high blood pressure reaches a severe, or life-threatening stage, some people may experience shortness of breath, headaches or nose bleeds, however these signs are not specific.
What are the health complications from Hypertension?
Hypertension can lead to serious, even fatal complications, if left untreated.
Some of these include:
- Heart attack, heart failure or stroke, damages arteries
- Narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes
- Narrowed or weakened blood vessels in the kidneys
- Metabolic syndrome
- Loss of memory and difficulty understanding
- Vision loss
Nourishing and oxygenated blood is necessary for proper brain function, but hypertension can cause serious damage to the brain, including:
- TIA (Transient ischemic attack) – Or mini-stroke is a temporary and brief disruption of blood to the brain. Cause by blood clots and hardened arteries.
- Mild cognitive impairment – Generally seen as symptoms of aging and serious problems with dementia is the transition between memory and understanding
- Vascular dementia – Blocked or narrowed arteries that limit blood flow to the brain
High blood pressure threatens health and quality of life, and can lead to death or disability, and a person’s best protection is knowledge, management and prevention. The best way to know if your blood pressure is high is to see your doctor to have it checked. Learn what factors contribute to hypertension and put you at a higher risk. And finally, take the necessary steps to manage your blood pressure and reduce your risk. Heart-healthy lifestyle changes and working in partnership with your doctor and taking any medications you are prescribed, will greatly reduce your risk of hypertension complications.
Dr. Michael Twyman, MD. started Apollo Cardiology in St Louis in 2019, because his passion and expertise in integrative cardiology, meant he could help those in his community lead a fuller and healthier life, with a healthy heart, and be there in their time of urgent need. Our team of highly skilled heart health practitioners and staff are here to answer your questions, so call now or book an appointment. We are conveniently located at 1034 S Brentwood Blvd, Suite 1230, Saint Louis, MO 63117.