Did you know that around 1 in 3 American adults has hypertension? Left unmanaged, hypertension, also called high blood pressure, can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of a heart attack and stroke. Board-certified internal medicine physician Faisal Hamid, MD, at FH Medical Care in Valley Stream, New York, specializes in diagnosing and treating hypertension. If you want to improve your cardiovascular health, make an appointment today by calling the office or using the online booking tool.
Hypertension is a cardiovascular problem that occurs when the force of the blood pumping through your arteries is too high for an extended period of time. Left unmanaged, high blood pressure damages your blood vessels and increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
High blood pressure doesn’t present any obvious symptoms. As a result, millions of Americans are living with high blood pressure and don’t even realize it. This is one of the main reasons preventive measures like annual physicals are so important. Regularly checking your numbers can alert you to a potential problem early on, before it gets out of hand.
Some people with high blood pressure experience headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath, but these symptoms don’t usually show up until high blood pressure is already at a life-threatening stage.
Dr. Hamid recommends everyone 18 and older have their blood pressure screened at least once every two years. If you’re 40 or older, Dr. Hamid recommends a blood pressure screening every year.
If your readings are high or you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, Dr. Hamid might recommend more frequent screening.
The two different types of hypertension are primary (essential) and secondary. Primary hypertension develops gradually over a period of years and doesn’t have an underlying cause. Secondary hypertension is related to another health problem. Common causes of secondary hypertension include:
Some prescription medications also increase your risk of developing secondary hypertension.
To diagnose hypertension, Dr. Hamid uses an inflatable arm cuff and a pressure-measuring gauge. A blood pressure reading features two numbers: the top number represents systolic blood pressure, the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats, and the bottom number represents diastolic blood pressure, the blood pressure in your arteries between beats.
Your blood pressure is normal if you have a reading of 120/80 mm Hg or lower. Anything higher than 130/80 is stage 1 hypertension.
Whenever possible, Dr. Hamid uses conservative, integrative measures to treat hypertension. If you have mild or moderate high blood pressure, he might recommend lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercising more regularly, and eating a healthy diet.
However, if these changes don’t significantly improve your numbers, prescription medications will probably be needed to manage your hypertension. Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Hamid might prescribe thiazide diuretics or beta blockers.
Don’t let hypertension prevent you from living your best life. Make an appointment at FH Medical Care by calling the office or requesting one online today.