What is Hypertension?

Every human being needs blood pressure to survive. Your blood must have some force behind it to move throughout your body. Your actual blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps out and by the amount of resistance that blood encounters as it flows through your arteries. 

There are times when your blood pressure can drop too low or shoot too high — either condition can be caused by several factors. When your blood pressure gets too high, this is called hypertension.

At Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, we’re committed to helping men lower their high blood pressure and we offer comprehensive care to treat this condition.

What is hypertension?

As we noted, hypertension is simply high blood pressure, which occurs when the force of your blood pushing against the artery walls becomes too high. This doesn’t cause an immediate problem — you can have high blood pressure for years without knowing it — but it does need to be addressed because it can lead to serious health complications.

Your blood pressure can fluctuate from day to day, but if you consistently run a high blood pressure, it’s time to get checked out by a doctor. Risk factors for hypertension include age, race, family history, obesity, inactivity, tobacco use, alcohol abuse, excess stress, and more.

What damage can it cause?

You may not feel any different if you have high blood pressure, but it’s called the “silent killer” for a reason. The damage it causes can be enormous. It starts with harm to your arteries and heart — because their workload is increased due to the high blood pressure, they work harder and less efficiently.

Over time, the force of the blood and the friction it causes damage the inside of your arteries, and plaque can begin to form on the inner artery walls. This narrows their diameter further, which drives up your blood pressure, even more, leading to even worse problems for the rest of your body. 

Left untreated, this can all add up and cause more serious problems: stroke, heart disease or heart failure, loss of vision, kidney disease, and more.

How can you treat it?

Changing your lifestyle is the biggest accommodation you can make to control your hypertension. This can include eating a heart-healthy diet with less salt, losing weight, limiting the alcohol you drink, and getting regular physical activity.

You may also need medication to lower your blood pressure, depending on how high it is and what kind of condition you’re in.

In most cases we see, lifestyle changes and medication lower your high blood pressure. Our expert team at Arlington Family Practice would be happy to work with you to manage your health if you’re worried about your blood pressure. Just contact our office today — by phone or using the online booking tool — to set up an appointment so we can get you on the road to better health!

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