Hypertension- What You Need To Know
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, greatly increases an individual’s risk of heart disease. It has numerous causes and reason but requires decisive action once diagnosed to help reduce the likelihood of developing serious and life-threatening heart complications. At Chicago Natural Health Care, we provide treatment options and diagnostic services that will help you take control of your blood pressure and reduce your risk for hypertension and complications from hypertension and cardiovascular disease naturally.
Do You Have Hypertension?
If you have been recently diagnosed with hypertension, or have been taking your blood pressure at home and have found that you have high numbers, it’s important to understand the condition so you can find the right hypertension treatment. Our Functional Medicine Doctors at Chicago Natural Health Care seek to address the underlying causes to help you prevent hypertension and feel your best.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure occurs when the force of the blood against your artery walls is too high. Blood pressure is measured by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the resistance of that blood flow in the arteries. Increased blood volume and increased narrowing of the arteries can both contribute to high blood pressure and hypertension.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm/Hg). A measurement of 120/80 mm Hg is considered the ideal blood pressure goal. Most doctors are happy if a patient can attain a level of less than 140/90 mm Hg.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
For many adults, hypertension and high blood pressure occur with no identifiable cause. It may be a result of a poor lifestyle or diet, or it may be due to genetic predisposition or genetic tendencies. Sometimes high blood pressure develops because of underlying health concerns, such as problems with the adrenal or thyroid glands, obstructive sleep apnea or problems with the kidneys. Treating these types of hypertension and high blood pressure causes can help blood pressure return to normal levels.
Diagnosing hypertension is relatively simple. All it requires is a blood pressure test taken by a doctor or nurse to determine if you have high blood pressure. Taking more than one test before making an official diagnosis is helpful, because some people who feel nervous at the doctor may have high blood pressure at the initial test, only to have normal blood pressure with subsequent tests.
How Is Hypertension Treated?
Controlling hypertension often involves prescription drug use. However, our Functional Medicine Doctors at Chicago Natural Health Care believe that many patients can control their hypertension with lifestyle changes. Losing weight, increasing activity levels, and changing the diet to focus on less salt and more potassium and vitamin D will help patients who have high blood pressure keep their numbers under control. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, Chicago Natural Health Care’s Functional Medicine approach can help you make these lifestyle changes that will help you pursue natural hypertension treatment.
Concerned About Developing Hypertension?
If you are concerned about your blood pressure, it’s important to get tested by a health professional. Unfortunately, hypertension symptoms are rare, and by the time most people experience problematic symptoms, damage to the heart and arteries has already occurred. Chicago Natural Health Care can test your blood pressure and evaluate your risk for developing the condition.
Hypertension Risk Factors
While there are not often specific causes of hypertension, there are risk factors that indicate a person is more likely to develop hypertension. These risk factors include:
- Age — The risk of hypertension increases around age 45 years old.
- Race — African-Americans have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure than Caucasians.
- Family history — The condition appears to run in families so can have a genetic component.
- Weight — Being overweight or obese increases the workload on your heart, and therefore your risk of hypertension and high blood pressure.
- Sedentary lifestyle — The more sedentary you are, the higher your heart rate will be, and this increases your risk of hypertension.
- Tobacco use — Smoking or chewing tobacco temporarily increases your blood pressure, and this can cause chronic hypertension and high blood pressure problems.
- Salt in diet — Too much salt increases fluid retention, which in turn increases blood pressure and can cause hypertension.
- Too little potassium or vitamin D — These essential nutrients help fight high blood pressure, but many Americans don’t get enough of them in their diets.
- Alcohol use — Drinking more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women can increase hypertension risk.
- Stress — Stress temporarily increases blood pressure, and chronic stress can turn into chronic hypertension problems.
If you have any of these risk factors, you are going to be more predisposed to developing high blood pressure and hypertension.
Talking to Your Doctor
If you have risk factors for hypertension, make an appointment with our Functional Medicine Doctors at Chicago Natural Health Care. We are here to help you understand your risk and current blood pressure levels, and what you need to do to protect your heart health and prevent cardiovascular disease. We can help determine if you need hypertension treatment, or if lifestyle changes are the best course of action.
Your heart health is not something to take lightly or ignore. If you suspect you are at risk for hypertension or high blood pressure, make an appointment with Chicago Natural Health Care right away. With the help of our health care and functional medicine team, you can begin making the lifestyle changes to help keep your blood pressure levels in check. Call our clinic today at 773-418-6877 to schedule an appointment.