With each beat of your heart, oxygen-rich blood flows throughout your body and delivers nutrients to your muscles, tissue, and organs. Blood that’s low in nutrients and oxygen returns to your heart and lungs to get replenished.
Heartbeats exert pressure against the walls of your veins and arteries, and it’s this pressure that gets your blood where it needs to go within your body. But when your blood pressure gets too high, it can damage veins and arteries and contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Blood pressure that’s consistently too high is called hypertension, but it’s also known simply as high blood pressure. It affects about 75 million Americans, but experts estimate that millions more have the condition and don’t know it.
High blood pressure puts you at risk for potentially life-threatening complications, but it can be managed with the right care. At Central Clinic, in Spring Hill, Florida, Poonam Malhotra, MD, is here to help. It’s time to find out if you could be at risk for hypertension.
Warning signs of high blood pressure
Hypertension has earned the nickname, “the silent killer,” and there’s a good reason why millions of Americans don’t know they have high blood pressure: it typically doesn’t have any warning signs or symptoms.
In rare cases, high blood pressure may cause symptoms like headaches, but even then, it’s likely to be attributed to something unrelated, such as lack of sleep or exposure to loud noise.
Are you at risk for high blood pressure?
High blood pressure can easily go undiagnosed because it doesn’t have symptoms. But that doesn’t mean you can’t weigh your risk of developing it. Certain factors influence blood pressure and may make it more likely that you could have hypertension.
Risk factors of high blood pressure include:
- Being older
- Being African American
- Family history of hypertension
- Excess body weight
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Tobacco use
- Poor diet
- High stress levels
In addition to these risk factors, you could be at risk for hypertension if you have certain pre-existing conditions, like diabetes or kidney disease.
Find out if you have high blood pressure
Since high blood pressure doesn’t trigger symptoms, the only way to know if you have it is to visit the doctor and have your blood pressure checked. At Central Clinic, Dr. Malhotra performs blood pressure checks at each wellness appointment as well as when you come in for an injury or illness.
Blood pressure readings have two numbers: the systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. If the readings are above 120 mmHg and 80 mmHG respectively (expressed as 120/80 mmHg), you’re at risk for hypertension. If your numbers read 140/90 mmHg or higher, you already have hypertension.
Is it time to have your blood pressure checked? Schedule an appointment at Central Clinic today. Call our office or book an appointment online today.