Known as the silent killer, hypertension or high blood pressure affects millions of people in this country - many without even knowing it. For this reason, our providers screen for hypertension with each visit to our practice.
Hypertension refers to high blood pressure. When determining the fitness of your cardiovascular system, blood pressure is the central factor in measuring the amount of blood pumped and the resistance it meets moving through the arteries. Higher numbers indicate the heart working harder combined with excess blood resistance. Over time, untreated hypertension can lead to serious health problems including a heart attack or stroke.
One major challenge with hypertension is most people exhibit no symptoms. This is why here at SunCoast Premier Medical we screen for hypertension by taking blood pressure readings with each visit. Occasionally patients complain of headaches or shortness of breath, but it’s not unusual to feel perfectly fine while still having high blood pressure.
Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but there are some key risk factors:
High blood pressure can develop outside these categories especially as you age. Lifestyle matters. Often by making just a few changes, you can lower those numbers and reduce the risks.
Blood pressure is rarely consistent, and it’s affected by many things. Even just going to the doctor can cause your blood pressure to increase which is why we will take a reading more than once before making a diagnosis. A blood pressure reading from 140 to 159 for the systolic (upper number) and 90 to 99 for the diastolic (lower number) is considered stage one hypertension. The higher the number the greater the risk of heart attack or stroke. Treatment for hypertension is usually a combination of drug therapy and lifestyle changes. If medication is initially necessary to control blood pressure, the right combination of lifestyle changes may mean it’s just temporary. Eating well and staying active may lower your blood pressure naturally and eliminate the need for medication.
At SunCoast Premier Medical, most major insurances are accepted. For a complete list, please call our office before the scheduled appointment and speak with one of our knowledgable staff members to verify coverage.