Sara Love, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine located in Beaverton, OR
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. Similar to putting a thumb on a hose of running water, the more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. A blood pressure reading is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It has two numbers.
- Top number (systolic pressure). The first, or upper, number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
- Bottom number (diastolic pressure). The second, or lower, number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats.
Depending on the numbers will determine your classification ranging between elevated, to hypertension state 1 and 2, and hypertensive crisis.
You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms, making this referred to as the “silent killer”. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.
High blood pressure can cause significant damage to your heart, eyes, kidneys, brain and blood vessels. Left untreated, this can lead to kidney failure or vision loss.
Your ability to think, remember and learn can also be affected by high blood pressure. There's even a type of dementia — vascular dementia — caused by high blood pressure.
High blood pressure can be treated with a variety of modalities including diet modification, increased exercise, supplements, and medications. High blood pressure can be managed.
Schedule your visit now to determine your best treatment plan to reduce your elevated blood pressure.