Hypertension is better known as high blood pressure. This condition is diagnosed when a patient has a blood pressure reading of more than 140/90 mmHg. Readings in the 120-139/80-89 mmHg range fall into the pre-hypertension classification. A healthy and normal blood pressure reading should be under 120/80 mmHg.
High blood pressure is most often diagnosed in people who have certain risk factors. Age is a leading risk factor, as the risk for high blood pressure grows as a person ages. Other potential risk factors include:
Most people who develop high blood pressure have 1 or more of these risk factors at the time of their diagnosis.
High blood pressure is often diagnosed during wellness exams or at other visits to the doctor. A medical tool called a sphygmomanometer checks the blood pressure by inflating a cuff attached to the patient's upper arm. This test takes just a few minutes or less and quickly reveals the patient's blood pressure. Although anyone can have an abnormal blood pressure reading at one time or another, patients who consistently have high blood pressure readings are diagnosed with hypertension.
High blood pressure can lead to heart failure, stroke, and even death. To avoid the serious and potentially deadly effects of high blood pressure, diagnosis and medical management are essential.
One of the most frightening things about hypertension is that it rarely causes symptoms until it's very advanced. It can cause no obvious symptoms while it's destroying the kidney cells. Patients should see Dr. Scarborough for wellness visits on a regular basis to make sure that hypertension is caught as early as possible.
Hypertension can be controlled in several ways. Patients should make an effort to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Healthy eating, including a low-sodium diet are important. Patients should exercise on a regular basis, as well. In the more difficult cases, Dr. Scarborough can prescribe medication to control the blood pressure.
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