High Cholesterol

The Center for Family Practice

Family Medicine & Internists located in Latham, NY

High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as the "silent killer," because it often has no symptoms, so many men and women don't realize they have the disease. The team of experienced providers at the Center for Family Practice LLC has the training and skills to detect hypertension before it can cause dangerous health complications. To learn more about how the team can help you control your blood pressure, call the Latham, New York, office today, or make an appointment online

What is hypertension?

The force of your heart pumping your blood creates pressure within your arteries. When you have high blood pressure, or hypertension, your blood pressure is chronically elevated above normal levels.

Hypertension forces your heart has to work harder to circulate your blood throughout your body. It also causes the buildup of plaque, a solid residue that narrows the inside of your arteries, making your heart work even harder. Left untreated, this cycle causes higher and higher blood pressure in increasingly narrowing arteries, which can lead to life-threatening complications.

What causes high blood pressure?

There are two kinds of hypertension: primary and secondary. Primary, or essential, hypertension develops gradually over time and has no apparent cause.

Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying health condition, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Obesity
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Cancer of the adrenal gland
  • Thyroid disease
  • Congenital heart defects

Smoking, the abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs, as well as certain prescription medications, can also contribute to secondary hypertension. If you're African American, you have a higher risk of developing hypertension, and the risk increases for all men and women as they age.

Which health complications arise from hypertension?

Left untreated, high blood pressure can cause severe health risks. These include:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Loss of vision
  • Damage to the eyes, kidneys, or other organs
  • Hypertension can also cause cognitive problems, including dementia.

What is the treatment for high blood pressure?

The skilled providers at the Center for Family Practice LLC can detect hypertension during a physical examination. If you're diagnosed with the condition, your provider will help you manage your blood pressure with a customized treatment plan based on your individual needs. Your plan for controlling your hypertension may include:

Regular blood pressure monitoring
Cholesterol monitoring
Nutritional and lifestyle changes
Exercise routines
Prescriptions medications to control blood pressure

If you suspect you have high blood pressure, don't hesitate to schedule a physical exam. Call the Center for Family Practice LLC today, or make an appointment online.