Medical Specialties

High Blood Pressure


What is it?  High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition that occurs when blood pressure is elevated above normal.  This causes the heart to have to work harder than normal to move blood through the body, creating long-term health risks.  High blood pressure does not usually present with symptoms.  Some people may have headaches and nosebleeds more often than normal or get dizzy, but most cases have to be identified through screening.

What causes it? High blood pressure is commonly associated with poor lifestyle habits, such as an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, being overweight or obese, and other medical conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney disease and sleep apnea. High blood pressure also tends to run in families, so people with family members with high blood pressure are more likely to develop it.

How is it treated? Treatment will include lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercise and weight loss. If lifestyle changes are not enough, prescription medications may be necessary.

What if it is not treated? Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems such as stroke, anuerysms, heart attack and kidney disease.


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