When your doctor discloses that you are hypertensive, you may tend to ask yourself what it means. Hypertension is a health condition that causes your blood flow to impose increased pressure on your blood vessels’ walls. This is a severe condition and can harm your heart, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Luckily your Covington interventional cardiologist can help manage your condition so that you can appreciate a healthy life.
There are two types of hypertension, primary and secondary hypertension.
Primary hypertension is caused by genetic factors, eating food with a lot of salt, smoking tobacco, and too much alcohol consumption. The majority of people are diagnosed with primary hypertension.
Secondary hypertension is caused by shrinking of kidney arteries, sleep apnea, drug and alcohol abuse, and excessive use of birth control pills.
How will you know you have hypertension?
Hypertension does not show symptoms, so most people will have the condition and fails to seek medication until very late when it affects the body organs. Because of lack of symptoms, hypertension is also known as a ‘silent killer.’ Your doctor will recommend you go for a regular blood pressure checkup for early diagnosis.
Despite hypertension not showing symptoms, there are rare signs that can indicate you have the condition, including headaches, nose bleeds, and shortness of breath.
Effects of hypertension
Heart disease and heart attack
When your hypertension damages your arteries, it decreases the flow of oxygen and blood to your heart, thus, you get heart disease. If your blood flow to your heart is blocked, your heart muscles will not get enough oxygen and your muscles will start to die, leading to a heart attack. When your heart fails to pump blood to other organs in your body, you may develop heart failure.
Hypertension can cause your kidney arteries to weaken, narrow, and harden, causing them not to supply enough blood to your kidney tissues. When this happens, your kidneys fail to filter blood and other fluids well.
Brain problems and stroke
Hypertension can damage your arteries that supply blood and oxygen in your brain. When this happens, you can get a stroke which causes your brain cell to die.
When you go for hypertension diagnosis, your doctor will use a non-invasive device known as a blood pressure cuff to detect your arteries inside pressure and transmit the numerical values using an electronic device. To determine the causes of your hypertension, your doctor may recommend some imaging tests or lab tests.
After diagnosis, your doctor will recommend a change of your lifestyle to manage your hypertension. Some of the things you should do include:
- Eat a healthy balanced diet.
- If you smoke, quit smoking.
- Do some physical activity to keep fit.
- Avoiding stress
- Cut down salt in your food.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce your alcohol consumption
Your doctor may also prescribe some medicine to help you regulate your hypertension and prevent damage to other organs.
If you want to enjoy a quality life free from hypertension, call or book an appointment online with Louisiana heart & Vascular.