High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

What is high blood pressure?

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, cardiologist Dr. Craig Peterson of Eastern Shore Heart Center in Fairhope, Alabama offers the latest diagnostic tools and treatments for people from Fairhope, Daphne, Point Clear, Foley and Prichard in Mobile County. To learn more about proactive high blood pressure care, call or book an appointment online.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

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.

A blood pressure test is one of the simplest diagnostic tools in Dr. Peterson’s arsenal. In seconds, Dr. Peterson identifies your 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 blood pressure testing with Dr. Peterson.

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 or poor diet

While some of these factors are out of your control, most are not, and with the help of Dr. Peterson, you can lower your blood pressure numbers.

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 & Nutrition

Dr. Peterson recommends getting at least 30 minutes of exercise four or more times per week and reducing the amount of salt and junk food in your diet.

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 convenient form.

Appointment Doctor

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