When your physician takes your blood pressure, the number tells them how hard your heart works to pump blood around your body and how well it rests when it is not pumping. Most people know that 120/80 is a normal systolic/diastolic reading, but did you know that even slight elevations in these numbers could indicate high blood pressure? Yes, hypertension is a serious cardiovascular condition that leads to heart attack, stroke, and vision and kidney problems. Learn how your doctors at Gilbert Cardiology in Gilbert, AZ Drs. Zaki Lababidi and Khaled Albasha treat high blood pressure and help patients have healthy hearts.
What elevates blood pressure?
The physiological mechanism for raising and lowering blood pressure is complex, but basically, stress and physical exertion make your heart pump faster, and the pressure within your blood vessels increases. When we're at rest--sitting on the exam table at the doctor's office, for example--blood pressure should be 120/80. If those numbers are higher--120-129/80, blood pressure is said to be elevated. If its 130-139/80-89, cardiologists say the patient has Stage 1 hypertension.
According to the American Heart Association, other factors besides stress and physical exertion increase blood pressure. They include:
- Lack of exercise
- High blood sugars
- High serum cholesterol levels
- High salt levels in the diet
- Excessive alcohol intake
Unfortunately, many hypertensive patients experience few to no symptoms of their conditions. That's why high blood pressure has long been called "the silent killer." However, other people do show symptoms such as:
- Chest pain and palpitations
What you can do
Key to controlling hypertension is knowing that you have the condition. So your annual physical with your primary care physician is critical. If he or she sees a trend toward elevated blood pressure, you may begin at-home monitoring and/or a referral to Gilbert Cardiology.
To avoid the complications common to high blood pressure in Gilbert, AZ, Dr. Lababidi or Dr. Albasha may prescribe medications such as a beta blocker or diuretic. Additionally, he may recommend losing weight, getting more exercise, controlling blood sugars, eating a diet low in sugar, fat and salt, limiting alcohol and stopping smoking.
Don't ignore it
Your blood pressure is too important to your overall health. If you haven't had yours checked in a while, see your primary care physician for your annual physical. If you already are hypertensive, take your medicine and see the professional team at Gilbert Cardiology. Call today for an appointment: (480) 786-9100.