What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Your blood pressure is determined by the strength of your heart, the health of your arteries, and the total amount of blood circulating in your body.
Why is it dangerous to have high blood pressure?
When high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, goes untreated, it damages your blood vessel walls. This creates rough spots where cholesterol accumulates.
Over time, cholesterol builds up and hardens into clumps called plaques that can block your blood flow. If a plaque breaks away, it can cause a heart attack, stroke, or kidney disease.
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
Hypertension seldom causes any signs or symptoms to let you know you have a problem. It’s for this reason high blood pressure is known as “the silent killer.” Even when your blood pressure gets dangerously high, you still aren’t likely to have symptoms.
For this reason, it’s important to get annual physicals to have your blood pressure checked and your overall health examined.
What causes high blood pressure?
The following lifestyle factors increase your risk of developing high blood pressure:
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercise
- High-salt diet
- Chronic stress
- Cigarette smoker
Since hypertension develops gradually over the years, Dr. Marzili can help you prevent the disease by creating a plan to change any of the risk factors that apply to you.
What is secondary hypertension?
Secondary hypertension occurs when your high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition. For example, hormone imbalances may lead to secondary hypertension.
The following are a few of the hormone-related problems that may cause high blood pressure:
- Insulin resistance
- High cortisol levels
- High or low thyroid hormone
- Low estrogen levels
Chronic kidney disease and obstructive sleep apnea may also lead to secondary hypertension.
How is high blood pressure treated?
Dr. Marzili creates a customized treatment plan based on the severity of your hypertension. Whenever possible, he treats it with lifestyle changes. For example, you may need to lose weight, change your diet, or stop smoking.
If your blood pressure is dangerously high, or you make lifestyle changes and it doesn’t help lower your blood pressure, then Dr. Marzili prescribes medication.
A variety of medications lower blood pressure, and each one has a different mechanism of action, so Dr. Marzili chooses the one that’s best for your health.
If you suspect you have high blood pressure, or you’d like to come in to have it checked, call Dr. Thomas J. Marzili, MD, in Marlton, New Jersey, or request an appointment online today.