My Blood Pressure Has Been High Lately: Should I Be Concerned?

My Blood Pressure Has Been High Lately: Should I Be Concerned?

Almost 47% of American adults have high blood pressure, and many of them don’t know they have it. High blood pressure doesn't hurt, doesn't make you tired, and doesn't cause disruption in your routine, but it’s still a dangerous condition you should monitor. 

When your blood constantly rushes through vessels and organs with too much pressure, it damages the vessel walls. It can have life-threatening consequences such as cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack, stroke, or kidney damage.

At Apex Medical Professionals in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Dr. Walid Elkhalili and our expert team provide blood pressure screenings, medical advice, and specialized treatments to lower your blood pressure and improve your health and wellness.

What causes blood pressure fluctuations?

Some causes of high blood pressure include:

Especially in stressful situations, your body reacts with high alert. Your heart beats faster, small blood vessels narrow, and the blood flows through your veins with increased pressure. 

A sophisticated system of hormones, nerves, and vascular actions controls your blood pressure and adapts it to the circumstances. 

When you get excited or experience physical exertion, the sympathetic nervous system, part of the autonomic nervous system, kicks in and causes blood pressure to skyrocket. When resting, the parasympathetic nervous system takes over, the heart beats more slowly, the vessels dilate, and blood pressure drops again.

What makes high blood pressure so dangerous?

Permanently elevated blood pressure is hazardous because of its subsequent diseases. 

The constant pressure can lead to cardiac insufficiency and hardening of the vessel walls, increasing blood pressure. Deposits form in the narrowed vessels (arteriosclerosis), and in the worst case, this can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

What if blood pressure is permanently elevated?

Blood pressure is the force through which your heart pumps blood through your body. As blood moves through your body, it pushes against the insides of your blood vessels. That force is how we measure your blood pressure.

Blood pressure measurements consist of two numbers representing millimeters of mercury (mmHg). 

The top number measures your systolic pressure, which is the expended force of your heartbeat. The bottom number measures your diastolic reading, which indicates the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats. 

A healthy blood pressure result is 120/80 mmHg or lower. When this measurement increases, you have elevated blood pressure.

Many people have permanently high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure is present when the values measured on different days are 140/90 mmHg or higher. 

Dangerously high blood pressure symptoms

Symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, or blurred vision often accompany high blood pressure values above 180/100 mmHg. You should treat these symptoms as an emergency. Blood pressure this high can lead to a stroke, seizures, or unconsciousness.

Recognize blood pressure fluctuations

A 24-hour blood pressure measurement can identify the fluctuations. It’s helpful to regularly measure your blood pressure at home and keep a diary that Dr. Elkhalili and our team can evaluate. 

The independently recorded values can give a good indication of how the blood pressure changes in certain situations.

Often, simple lifestyle changes can permanently reduce or influence blood pressure. This includes eating a balanced diet, avoiding alcohol and nicotine, exercising, and having a regular sleep schedule. 

Call us at Apex Medical Professionals today or use our online system to request an appointment to check your blood pressure and get the specialized medical care you need to improve your health.

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