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Hypertension

Hypertension

Millions of adults, teens and children are affected by the life-threatening cardiovascular disease known as hypertension. Hypertension is a term frequently used for high blood pressure, the elevation of force against the arterial walls as your heart pumps blood throughout the body.

Although blood pressure varies among individuals and with the time of day it is taken, the normal level for blood pressure is below 120/80 (pronounced "120 over 80"). Blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is considered pre-hypertension which indicates a person is at higher risk of developing hypertension. An individual is diagnosed with hypertension if his or her blood pressure reaches 140/90 or above.

A blood pressure screening is performed during regular physical exams. A patient’s blood pressure is measured by listening for two numbers. The first number is the systolic pressure (the top number listed); this number is the rate of pulsation from the artery. The diastolic pressure (the bottom number listed) represents the pressure in the arteries once the heart rests between pulsations.

Causes of Hypertension
High blood pressure can lead to severe organ damage and other illnesses such as heart or renal failure, heart attack, kidney diseases, stroke or aneurysm. Although the exact cause of hypertension is in many cases unknown, there are several contributing factors that include obesity, diabetes, lack of physical activity, lack of Vitamin D, smoking, stress, alcohol consumption, age, certain medications, salt and water intake, genetics and ethnicity.

Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension, often referred to as the “silent killer”, has no visible signs. Symptoms may not become apparent for a significant amount of time until after the illness has already started damaging critical organs. It is recommended that patients undergo regular blood pressure tests performed by their physician. Blood pressure screening is recommended for all adults over age 18. If you are experiencing severe headaches, nausea, unclear vision, fatigue, dizziness, nosebleeds and/or irregular heartbeat you may have extreme high blood pressure and need to contact your physician immediately.

Treatment for Hypertension
There are two options for Hypertension treatment with one main focus: to lower your blood pressure. The recommended treatment options are prescribed medications, adjustments to the patient’s lifestyle or a combination of both. Important lifestyle changes involve eating a nutritional diet, regular exercise, smoking cessation, reduced alcohol consumption and reduced sodium intake. It is essential to treat hypertension at its earliest stages in order to prevent serious damage to organs and conditions including heart attack, kidney failure and stroke.

At The Longstreet Clinic, our highly trained physicians are recognized for quality care measures.

Six of TLC’s adult primary care physicians have been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart/Stroke Recognition Program. The program was designed to improve the quality of care that patients with cardiovascular disease or who have had a stroke receive by recognizing physicians who deliver this quality care.

To receive recognition, which is valid for three years, six TLC physicians submitted data that demonstrates performance that meets the program's key cardiovascular and stroke care measures. These measures include blood pressure and cholesterol control, among others. When people with cardiovascular disease or who have had a stroke receive quality care as outlined by these measures, they are less likely to suffer additional complications, such as a second heart attack or stroke.

Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced adult primary care providers.

Department of Internal Medicine, Gainesville: 770-535-0191

Department of Family Medicine, Gainesville: 770-534-1986

Department of Family Medicine, Oakwood: 770-534-6053