Nearly half of all adults are diagnosed with hypertension, which is high blood pressure. That number is astounding when you consider that most people can prevent hypertension with a healthy diet and exercise. At New York Cardiovascular Medicine in Forest Hills, New York, Dima Teitelman, MD, works closely with patients, screening them for hypertension, creating treatment plans that prevent the disease, and providing ongoing hypertension management if it does develop. If you’d like to learn more about your risk of developing hypertension, or if you need help lowering your blood pressure, call the office or book an appointment online.
Your blood pressure is based on the force of blood pushing against your artery walls. This pressure changes depending on variables such as the volume of blood and the health of your blood vessels.
Hypertension can be caused by an underlying health condition. Thyroid disease, kidney disease, and adrenal gland problems are three examples of medical conditions that raise your blood pressure.
But only 5-10% of all cases of hypertension develop due to an underlying problem. The majority of people develop hypertension due to:
Daily stress also forces your blood pressure to rise.
Hypertension seldom causes symptoms. You can have the disease for years and all that time your blood pressure can keep increasing. At the same time, you won’t have one symptom to tip you off to the problem.
Getting an annual blood pressure screening is essential because it’s the only way to know you have hypertension. If you don’t monitor your blood pressure, the first symptom you experience may be a life-threatening event such as a stroke or heart attack.
High blood pressure damages your artery walls. This damage creates areas where cholesterol can get into the wall. Over time, plaque develops as more fats, calcium, and other substances accumulate in the same spot. That’s when you have atherosclerosis.
Without treatment, atherosclerosis keeps getting worse. The plaque hardens and enlarges, which blocks blood flow.
Depending on where the plaque is located, atherosclerosis causes:
In addition to blocking blood flow through the artery, the plaque can rupture and cause blood clots. Then the blood clot travels to other parts of your body and causes a stroke or heart attack.
The great thing about routine blood pressure screening is that your provider catches the change in your blood pressure at an early stage called prehypertension. If you have prehypertension, lifestyle changes are often enough to stop the condition from turning into full-blown hypertension.
Lifestyle changes are also the first line of treatment after you’re diagnosed with hypertension. When diet and exercise fail to lower your blood pressure, your provider prescribes medication to get it under control.
If you need a blood pressure screening or ongoing management for hypertension, call New York Cardiovascular Medicine or book an appointment online.