Everything You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure

It’s normal for your blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day. But how do you know if you need to be treated for high blood pressure? Almost half of Americans have high blood pressure or are taking medications for hypertension.

At Apex Medical Professionals in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Dr. Walid Elkhalili and his team offer blood pressure screenings and expert medical advice. Our highly skilled specialists create customized treatment plans to lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health and wellness.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a disease of the cardiovascular system in which the pressure in the blood vessels remains too high. 

Pregnant women may experience high blood pressure, as well as those with diabetes. Some people are genetically predisposed to hypertension. Obesity is another cause of high blood pressure, so physical activity and proper nutrition are vital.

Your blood pressure adapts to different situations. For example, when you’re stressed or excited, your heart beats faster, supplying your body with more blood and raising your blood pressure. It sinks when you’re relaxed or sleeping. 

Blood pressure is controlled by a complex interplay of various processes in the body.

Hormones

Your body produces blood pressure-regulating hormones in your kidneys, adrenal glands, and sympathetic nerve fibers. These include angiotensin II, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

Vascular actions

If your blood vessels constrict, blood pressure rises. If they widen, blood pressure drops.

Autonomic nervous system

Your sympathetic nervous system increases the strength and frequency of your heartbeat, and blood pressure rises. Your parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, lowers blood pressure. 

What do the numbers mean?

What’s behind the terms diastolic and systolic value, and what do they reveal about your health? Both values ​​reveal how things are going with the pressure in your blood vessels.

The systolic number is the first or top number. It’s the value that shows the pressure in your arteries during a heartbeat when blood is pumping out. The diastolic number is the second or bottom number. It indicates the pressure in the arteries between each heartbeat.

A healthy blood pressure is anything less than 120 over 80, which measures millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

The systolic value is too high

If only the upper (systolic) blood pressure value is elevated, it’s isolated systolic hypertension. This form of high blood pressure mostly occurs in older people. 

The primary cause of systolic high blood pressure is age-related arteriosclerosis of the main artery or large vessels, which leads to reduced vascular elasticity. If left untreated, isolated systolic high blood pressure is just as dangerous as if both blood pressure values were elevated.  

The diastolic value is too high

When the lower blood pressure value is increased, you have high diastolic pressure. This is more common in young people with high blood pressure. 

The triggers include secondary causes of high blood pressure. Some examples are kidney disease and endocrinological diseases such as hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland), Cushing's syndrome, and sleep apnea.

Why is high blood pressure risky?

Not adequately treating hypertension is one of the most dangerous risk factors for a stroke, heart attack, and many other cardiovascular diseases. The persistently high pressure puts enormous strain on the vessels. 

Over time, damage occurs to important organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. Because of this, high blood pressure is considered a major contributor to premature death.

If you’re concerned about hypertension, call us now for an appointment. You can also request an appointment using our convenient online scheduling tool.

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