Nearly half of all adults have hypertension (high blood pressure), yet one-third of them don’t know they have a problem because it doesn’t cause symptoms. At Desoto Family Care Clinic, Diosan Powell, FNP, Cynthia Burchfield, FNP, and Danielle Bradley, FNP, assess your risk for high blood pressure and help you prevent the condition. They also offer comprehensive hypertension management to keep your blood pressure normal once the chronic disease develops. Whether you need blood pressure screening or management, call the office in Southaven, Mississippi, or request an appointment online today.
Your heart pushes oxygen-rich blood out into your arteries with an incredible amount of pressure and speed. The pressure propels blood throughout your body.
The arterial walls are designed to stand up to the normal force of blood. But when your blood pressure rises and stays too high for an extended time, the pressure damages the artery wall.
Hypertension develops over many years of unhealthy lifestyle habits such as:
Though not as common, hypertension can also occur due to chronic diseases such as kidney disease, thyroid disease, and obstructive sleep apnea.
The damaged areas in the artery create places where cholesterol and other fats can stick to the wall. Over time, the fatty plaque enlarges and hardens, causing a condition called atherosclerosis. Without treatment, atherosclerosis gets large enough to block blood flow.
Atherosclerosis causes conditions such as:
These conditions increase your risk of a heart attack, leg ulcers, stroke, aortic rupture, and kidney failure.
Hypertension seldom causes symptoms until the fatty plaque significantly blocks your circulation. For many people, the first symptom is a heart attack or stroke when the artery is completely blocked.
If symptoms appear, the type you have depends on the artery that’s blocked. For example, coronary artery disease may cause chest pain, while people with peripheral artery disease experience leg pain. Kidney disease causes swollen ankles and feet, fatigue, and itchy skin.
Hypertension can’t be treated and cured. Instead, it must be carefully managed to keep the pressure within the normal range. Your provider at Desoto Family Care Clinic creates a plan to manage your hypertension using lifestyle changes and medications.
Limiting salt in your diet, losing weight, and stopping smoking can have a dramatic impact on your blood pressure. Many people only need to make these changes to lower their blood pressure and keep it under control.
If you have very high blood pressure or lifestyle changes can’t make it drop enough, your provider prescribes medications. They may also refer you to a specialist to have the blockage removed.
The only way to know you have hypertension is with routine blood pressure screenings. If you’re overdue for an annual physical or worried about your blood pressure, call Desoto Family Care Clinic or book an appointment online today.