Main Street Medical
Urgent Care and Family Practice located in Hilton Head, SC
Roughly one in three men and women in the United States have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Since hypertension drastically increases your risk of developing heart disease, you need to get expert hypertension care from Joel Johnson III, MD, and the team at Main Street Medical in Hilton Head, South Carolina, right away. Dr. Johnson and the team can help get your blood pressure under control with a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes, and, when needed, medication solutions. To learn more, book an exam online or over the phone today.
Hypertension Q & A
What causes hypertension?
If you have hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, this means that the force of blood that pushes against the walls of your arteries is too high. Some pressure is normal since your heart has to work hard to push blood throughout your body. But too much pressure can lead to artery damage, clots and blockages, and overall wear-and-tear on your heart.
There are two kinds of hypertension: primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension is identified as hypertension that has no identifiable cause and usually develops gradually over many years. Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying medical issue. Hypertension can be caused by:
- Being overweight
- Thyroid problems
- Kidney diseases
- Birth defects in your blood vessels
- Prescription medications, including birth control
In many cases, treating the source of your high blood pressure can help bring it down to a safe range.
How is hypertension diagnosed?
High blood pressure is easy to diagnose through a simple test that involves placing a cuff around your arm. The cuff inflates and uses a pressure-measuring gauge to evaluate your blood pressure. Normal blood pressure should be at or below 120/80 mm Hg.
If your reading is above this, you might have high blood pressure. But, It’s normal to have elevated blood pressure and a higher-than-normal heart rate during a doctor’s exam. Because of this, Dr. Johnson monitors your blood pressure regularly and can even teach you how to check your blood pressure at home, so you can get a better analysis of your blood pressure average.
If you continue having high blood pressure readings, or if your blood pressure reaches 140/90 mm Hg or higher — Stage 2 hypertension — Dr. Johnson can get you started on treatment.
What is the treatment for hypertension?
Bringing your blood pressure down to a normal range won’t happen overnight. It takes dedication to follow your personalized treatment plan to reduce hypertension. Depending on the severity of your high blood pressure, and whether or not you have any other heart disease risk factors, like high cholesterol, your treatment can involve:
- Weight loss planning
- Reduced-sodium diet
- Calcium channel blockers
- Alpha or beta-blockers
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
- Fluid and sodium-reducing medications
Dr. Johnson will schedule you for regular follow-up visits to ensure your blood pressure treatment is working. If needed, he can make adjustments to your plan or prescription medications.
To start on your path to a healthier heart, book an appointment online or over the phone with Main Street Medical today.