High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure services offered in The Loop, Chicago, IL

High blood pressure is a serious health issue affecting an estimated 75 million Americans, only around half of whom have their blood pressure under control. For those living in and around The Loop of downtown Chicago, Illinois, the team at Michigan Avenue Primary Care can make a world of difference in managing high blood pressure. Get started today by calling the office or booking a visit online.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What is high blood pressure?

Each and every time your heart beats it pumps blood through your arteries, veins, and capillaries. That force puts pressure on the walls of those vessels, which is measured in two ways. 

Your systolic pressure is the force placed on vessel walls during heartbeats. Your diastolic pressure is the force placed on vessel walls in the rest between heartbeats. The first number in your blood pressure reading is the systolic pressure, the second is diastolic. 

Normal blood pressure is a systolic reading of less than 120 and diastolic less than 80. Once you reach a reading of 130/80 your blood pressure is too high and you should take steps to lower your readings. 

Why is high blood pressure a problem?

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a serious health issue. The condition places undue pressure on many of your organs and systems and can cause widespread health problems. 

Among the risks associated with high blood pressure are heart disease, stroke, aneurysm, kidney disease, vision loss, sexual dysfunction, and much more. Making matters worse, hypertension often presents no clear signs or symptoms until a serious complication arises. That’s why high blood pressure is often referred to as a “silent killer.”

What determines my high blood pressure management?

Your provider creates a customized care plan designed around your unique health needs and lifestyle. Medication may play a role in your treatment, especially in the early stages, to bring your readings down quickly. 

There are many different types of medications that can help, including:

  • Diuretics
  • Central agonists
  • Vasodilators
  • Beta-blockers and alpha-blockers
  • Calcium-channel blockers
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers

Many men and women need a combination of drugs to manage hypertension, and your drug therapy will likely change over time. The team at Michigan Avenue Primary Care runs periodic lab work to ensure your medication is working properly. 

What can I do to manage my hypertension?

Lifestyle modifications can go a long way toward bringing your blood pressure under control. There are many things you can do at home to manage hypertension. 

Losing weight is a great place to start if you’re carrying extra pounds. Dietary improvements like reducing sodium, avoiding highly processed foods, and adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Reducing alcohol consumption can also help. 

Increasing your activity level will also help. Find a way to incorporate exercise into your daily routines. You don’t have to join a gym or make sweeping changes; simply taking a long walk will have a positive impact.    

When you’re ready to get started, call Michigan Avenue Primary Care or schedule an appointment online.