The higher your blood pressure, the higher your risk of health problems in the future.
About 30% of Americans have high blood pressure, and it is much more common in some groups than others. If we don’t suffer from it ourselves at least we have one family member who does. Despite being so common, there is still some misunderstanding regarding high blood pressure and hypertension (the disease). Unless your reading is dramatically elevated, proper diagnosis of hypertension is made with self-monitoring at random times at least twice daily over at least two weeks. Only then should your doctor diagnose hypertension.
What is it and why should I check it?
Blood pressure and when it is consistently elevated to unhealthy levels – hypertension – is a result of complex ultrashort, short, medium and long-term governing systems in the body. Similar to a tire pressurized to the right level, to a low level, and to a high level. Over time, the right level leads to proper wear and tear on the tire. Low pressure leads to uneven wear and tear and if it’s too low for too long the tire won’t roll. High-pressure leads to uneven wear and if it’s too high for too long the tire will blow. The pressure of the blood inside the body presents a similar situation. If your readings remain high for long periods of time, damage occurs to the arteries; they don’t stretch or spring back like they are supposed to. They become brittle and clogged, and eventually, the scarred blood vessels may burst or clog off altogether.
What causes high blood pressure?
Genetics causes about 90% of hypertension. Specific problems with an organ of one of the systems that control blood pressure cause about 10% of cases. Since there is no identifiable cause most of the time, the guidelines suggest that not a whole lot of tests and studies should be done before diagnosing and treating hypertension. A physician will aggressively search for a cause only if the pressure is very high and meets certain conditions: If the patient’s blood pressure fails to get under control after taking the maximum dose on three separate classes of medications or if there is obvious ongoing damage to an organ or organ system.
The most universally targeted numbers for most patients is a systolic blood pressure less than 140 and diastolic blood pressure less than 90. Medical studies show that hundreds of thousands of patients with specific problems such as kidney disease, diabetes, particularly advanced age, heart disease may be recommended a different blood pressure targets, and different preferred medications, However, at DoctorWellington we use a detailed algorithm to compute the correct number individualized for you. We also work with you to find the best medications for you.
How can DoctorWellington help?
With DoctorWellingotn, you can utilize our telemedicine feature to discuss your condition with one of our providers, including adjusting your medication. Further, you can use our online message system to request refills.
Remember, hypertension is the “silent killer.” Don’t expect symptoms, and don’t wait to have damage before you see your doctor. If your healthcare provider is concerned about your blood pressure then schedule a visit. Take advantage of your free “annual physical”, take your medicine as instructed and do not make changes without talking to your doctor.