Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition faced by roughly one in three adults. You’re considered to have high blood pressure if you have a reading over 130/80. If you’re concerned about hypertension or need help managing the condition, the physicians at Vanguard Medical Group are here to give you the tools you need to manage your blood pressure and improve your overall health.

What Causes Hypertension?

Hypertension is simply abnormally high blood pressure However, there are a number of contributing factors that can increase an individual’s risk for high blood pressure. These include:

  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • High-sodium diet
  • Low-potassium diet
  • Stress
  • Chronic conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea and more
  • Pregnancy
  • Age
  • Ethnic background/Genetics

Improving Hypertension

One of the best ways to manage hypertension is to lose weight by exercising regularly and eating a healthier diet that is low in sodium and high in potassium. Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption can also have positive effects. If you suffer from an underlying condition that causes hypertension, speak to your doctor about ways to manage these conditions or adjust medication that may elevate blood pressure.

While it’s very common for individuals with hypertension to experience few symptoms, that doesn’t mean the condition can’t have serious side effects. If left untreated, high blood pressure can eventually cause heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney and vision problems, metabolic syndrome and cognitive disorders, including dementia. If you’re unable to reduce your blood pressure with lifestyle changes alone, your physician can prescribe medications to help.

Advice for Living with Hypertension

Making lifestyle changes can be difficult, but finding a support group who can help you follow through on your health-conscious goals is a great way to stay on track. Lean on family, friends, your doctor and other resources who can support your efforts and encourage you along the way.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the necessary changes, focus on small, steady steps rather than changing everything about your diet and exercise habits at once. Simply going for a walk after dinner or committing to a few meatless meals a week can be a great way to make positive changes that last.

Find a Hypertension Doctor Near You

Request an appointment with Vanguard Medical Group at one of our nine locations. Our team of experienced doctors and staff will teach you more about hypertension so you can manage your high blood pressure and decrease the risk of future complications.