Blood pressure is a measurement of the amount of force or pressure it takes for the blood to move through the circulatory system (specifically, the amount of pressure the blood exerts on the blood vessel walls).
Normal blood pressure can vary based on a person’s age, activity levels, and other factors, but generally, it’s considered to be below 120/80 mmHg (pressures measuring 90/60 mmHg are considered too low and also require medical attention).
High blood pressure, or hypertension, includes pressures where the upper or first number is 160 or above or the lower number is 100 or above (or both). Measurements between normal and high blood pressures are considered prehypertensive, which means the patient is more likely to develop hypertension but hasn’t reached that level yet.
Usually, hypertension develops as a result of age-related changes in the blood vessels or from lifestyle factors like being overweight, being sedentary, eating a diet high in sodium and unhealthy fats, and smoking. Patients with a family history of high blood pressure are also more likely to have it.
Sometimes high blood pressure can develop as a result of an underlying medical condition, like sleep apnea or thyroid disease, or as a result of long-term use of some types of medication. This type of hypertension is sometimes referred to as secondary hypertension.
High blood pressure typically doesn’t cause symptoms until a serious medical event or complication develops, which is why it’s so important to have blood pressure measured on a regular basis, especially for patients with risk factors for hypertension.
Numerous medical studies have linked high blood pressure with an increased risk of serious medical problems like heart attack and heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney damage, and cognitive problems, including dementia. High blood pressure is also associated with metabolic syndrome, which, in turn, increases the risk for diabetes and heart-related problems.
Dr. Batlle treats high blood pressure with medications designed to lower blood pressure so serious complications may be prevented. Changes in lifestyle habits can also help lower high blood pressure and even help prevent hypertension. These changes include losing excess weight, avoiding foods high in sodium and unhealthy fats, eating more fiber and leafy green vegetables, quitting smoking, and being more physically active.
Dr. Batlle customizes every treatment plan based on each patient’s symptoms and needs for optimal results.
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