Did you know that hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects nearly one-third of Americans?
Hypertension is known as the “silent killer” because it often has no symptoms, but it can lead to serious health problems like heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and vision loss if left untreated.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with hypertension, it’s important to understand what blood pressure is, how it’s measured, and how to manage it to protect your health.
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of circulating blood that pushes against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps. It’s measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and expressed as two numbers: systolic pressure (the top number) and diastolic pressure (the bottom number). Systolic pressure represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats, while diastolic pressure represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
What Are Healthy Blood Pressure Levels?
Generally, a healthy blood pressure reading is considered to be less than 120/80 mmHg. Prehypertension is when your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 139/89 mmHg, while hypertension is when your blood pressure is consistently 140/90 mmHg or higher.
It’s important to monitor your blood pressure regularly, as it can fluctuate throughout the day and be affected by factors such as stress, exercise, and medication.
What Factors Affect Blood Pressure?
Several factors can affect your blood pressure, including genetics, age, weight, and lifestyle habits. Some people may be more prone to hypertension due to family history or underlying health conditions such as kidney disease, sleep apnea, or thyroid problems. Lifestyle factors like a high-sodium diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to hypertension.
How Can You Manage Blood Pressure?
Managing hypertension often involves lifestyle changes such as:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating a balanced diet
- Getting regular exercise
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Limiting your salt intake
- Avoiding processed foods
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Getting more sleep
- Reducing stress
In some cases, medication may also be necessary to help lower blood pressure and prevent complications. Working with your healthcare provider to monitor your blood pressure and make appropriate lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk of serious health problems.
Internist Near Me in Syracuse, New York
By staying proactive about monitoring your blood pressure, making healthy lifestyle choices, and working with your healthcare provider, you can reduce your risk of serious complications and enjoy a long and healthy life. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider are also important, as blood pressure readings are a part of monitoring your vitals.
At SUNY: Upstate Medical University, our team of board-certified and experienced internists and cardiologists are committed to helping our patients stay informed and empowered when it comes to their health. We offer a wide range of services and treatments for patients at risk for hypertension. Here are some specific options:
- Hypertension Clinic – The Hypertension Clinic at Upstate Health Care Center provides specialized care for patients with high blood pressure. The clinic offers comprehensive evaluations, diagnostic tests, and personalized treatment plans to manage and control hypertension.
- Cardiology Services – The Department of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University has a dedicated cardiology division that offers expert care for cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension. The cardiology team provides a wide range of services, including diagnostic testing, medication management, lifestyle counseling, and advanced treatment options.
- Telemedicine – SUNY Upstate Medical University also offers telemedicine services for patients at risk for hypertension. This allows patients to have virtual consultations with healthcare providers via secure electronic devices, ensuring convenient access to care and ongoing monitoring of their condition.
- Physical Therapy (PT) – In addition to medical management, SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Department of PT provides physical therapy services for patients with hypertension. Physical therapy can help improve cardiovascular fitness, reduce blood pressure levels, and enhance overall health and wellbeing.
In addition to addressing hypertension, our medical specialists treat a broad range of cardiac conditions, including:
- Arrythmias (irregularities in the rhythm and rate of heartbeat)
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
- High cholesterol
It’s important to note that these services and treatments may vary based on individual patient needs and recommendations from healthcare providers. For more specific information about the services available at SUNY Upstate Medical University for hypertension patients, or to schedule an appointment, please call your cardiology provider directly. However, you can also contact the Department of Medicine at SUNY: Upstate Medical University via email at DeptMedicine@upstate.edu for more information.