When to Worry About High Blood Pressure

When to Worry About High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common medical condition that affects nearly half of all American adults. It occurs when the force (pressure) of blood against the walls of your blood vessels is chronically high 一 at least 130mmHg over 80 mmHg 一 leading to damage of your blood vessels and other organs.

While high blood pressure is often asymptomatic and can go unnoticed for years, it is a significant risk factor for many health complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and vision loss. With these complications in mind, it's important to know when to worry about high blood pressure and take action to manage it. 

Here are some key factors to consider, courtesy of Dr. Henock Saint-Jacques

Your blood pressure readings

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is expressed as two numbers: a systolic reading and a diastolic reading. Your systolic pressure is a measurement of the force of blood against the artery walls when your heart beats, while your diastolic pressure is a measurement of the force of blood when your heart is at rest between beats.

A normal blood pressure reading is defined as 120/80 mmHg. However, if your systolic pressure consistently measures 130 mmHg or higher, or your diastolic pressure consistently measures 80 mmHg or higher, you may have high blood pressure. 

Even if your numbers are elevated (but not enough to receive an official diagnosis), it’s worth focusing on lowering your numbers to avoid complications of full blown hypertension.

If you're unsure about your blood pressure readings, you can easily get them checked by our team. Additionally, you can continue to monitor your levels at home with an at-home blood pressure monitor.

Your lifestyle habits

Certain lifestyle habits can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure or exacerbating existing hypertension. These include:

If you engage in any of these habits, it's essential to make lifestyle changes to reduce your blood pressure and overall health risks. Even if you don’t have high blood pressure at the moment, it’s important to do what you can to reduce the risk factors that are within your control.

Your medical history

High blood pressure can also be a result of complications from underlying medical conditions or medications. These include:

If you have any of these medical conditions or take any medications that could increase your blood pressure, it's important to work with Dr. Saint-Jacques to manage your hypertension.

Your family history

While lifestyle factors play a role in the development of high blood pressure, so can your genetics. If you have a family history of hypertension or related health complications, you may be at a higher risk of developing the condition.

In this case, it's essential to be vigilant about your blood pressure readings and take steps to reduce your overall risk.

Healthy blood pressure management should be a priority

The bottom line is that you should be concerned about your blood pressure if:

High blood pressure is a prevalent condition that can lead to serious health complications if left unmanaged, but taking action early on can make all the difference in preventing future complications and living a healthier life. Blood pressure can be managed through dietary modifications, regular exercise, and in some cases, medication.

To get started with a custom blood pressure management plan, give Dr. Saint-Jacques a call at 646-381-2181. You can also book your next appointment on our website.

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