High blood pressure is a condition that could cost you your life, yet without attending regular checkups, you’d never know you had a problem. Henock Saint-Jacques, MD, FACC, is a highly experienced heart specialist at Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue in New York City who can diagnose and treat high blood pressure and help prevent any serious health problems before you reach a critical point. Call the East Harlem office or schedule an appointment online.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a sign that blood is pumping through your arteries at such a force that it’s damaging them and presenting a risk to your health.
High blood pressure does not cause symptoms when it’s developing, but it can lead to serious medical emergencies such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.
Because hypertension doesn’t cause symptoms until you experience a health crisis, having your blood pressure measured regularly is essential.
Taking a blood pressure measurement is quick and easy. A member of the team at Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue places a blood pressure cuff around your upper arm and inflates it, taking a reading as your heart beats (systolic pressure) and in between beats (diastolic pressure).
The two numbers form your blood pressure reading, which in good health should be 120 or less for systolic, and 80 or less diastolic.
If your blood pressure is between 121-140 systolic or 81-90 diastolic, you have raised blood pressure, which means it’s above the healthy limit and needs addressing.
If your reading is over 140 systolic or 90 diastolic, it means you have high blood pressure and your health is at risk if you don’t take action.
If the reading goes over 160 systolic or 100 diastolic, you have dangerously high blood pressure and are at serious risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
One of the main causes of high blood pressure is the lifestyle. Being overweight or obese, smoking, and inactivity all raise your risk of developing high blood pressure, but if you make changes to your lifestyle, you can lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of serious complications.
Lifestyle changes that can help lower blood pressure include:
You may also need to take blood pressure medication, at least to start with, while the lifestyle changes take effect.
Dr. Saint-Jacques may recommend an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), echocardiogram, or Doppler ultrasound tests to look for problems with your heart and arteries caused by high blood pressure.
To schedule a consultation and blood pressure check, call Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue or book an appointment online today.