High Blood Pressure Specialist

Craig R. Peterson, MD -  - Cardiologist

Eastern Shore Heart Center

Craig R. Peterson, MD

Cardiologist located in Fairhope, AL

A diagnosis of high blood pressure, or hypertension, isn’t necessarily what you want to hear, but it may be a blessing in disguise. High blood pressure is a clear signal that your heart may be in danger, and the good news is that there are many steps you can take to lower your blood pressure numbers. To help with that, Dr. Craig Peterson of Eastern Shore Heart Center in Fairhope, Alabama offers the latest diagnostic tools and treatments. To learn more about proactive high blood pressure care, call or book an appointment online.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is caused when your arteries narrow, forcing your blood through smaller openings, which creates stress on your arterial walls each time your heart pumps blood. High blood pressure is often progressive and can lead to serious complications, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Heart failure

This list is by no means comprehensive as high blood pressure can have a far-reaching effect on a number of your body’s functions.

What constitutes high blood pressure?

A blood pressure test is one of the simplest diagnostic tools in Dr. Peterson’s arsenal. In seconds, Dr. Peterson determines where you fall concerning blood pressure, which breaks out like this:

  • Normal: 120/80 and below
  • Prehypertension: 120-139/80-89
  • Stage 1 hypertension: 140-159/90-99
  • Stage 2 hypertension: 160/100 or higher

People often call high blood pressure the silent killer because, more often than not, there are no telltale symptoms of the condition. The only way to know for sure whether you have hypertension is through regular testing with Dr. Peterson.

What causes high blood pressure?

Several factors put you at risk for high blood pressure, including:

  • Obesity
  • Coronary artery, or vascular, disease
  • Age
  • Race
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Habits, such as smoking or alcohol consumption

While some of these factors are out of your control, many aren’t, and with the help of Dr. Peterson, you can lower your blood pressure numbers.

How is high blood pressure treated?

Since many of the contributors to high blood pressure are within your control, Dr. Peterson typically starts with some basic changes to your lifestyle, such as:

Weight Loss

Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of high blood pressure. By tackling your weight with the help of Dr. Peterson, you can lower your blood pressure numbers considerably.

Exercise

Dr. Peterson recommends getting at least 30 minutes of exercise four or more times per week.

Medication

In some cases, medications such as diuretics prescribed by Dr. Peterson may help with your blood pressure.

LIfestyle Changes

Quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol can reduce your blood pressure numbers.

To learn more about lowering your blood pressure, call Eastern Shore Heart Center or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.