High Blood Pressure

Commonwealth Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine & Primary Care Practice located in Fredericksburg, VA

High blood pressure is one of the most serious risk factors you can have for life-threatening conditions like heart attack and stroke, but without having your blood pressure checked, you’d never know there was a problem. Regular blood pressure checks with the dedicated team of medical professionals at Commonwealth Internal Medicine in Fredericksburg, Virginia, could prevent the devastating effects of high blood pressure and potentially save your life. Call the office today to schedule a consultation.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a problem with your circulatory system.

When you have high blood pressure, it means blood is pumping at a higher force than is healthy as it travels around your arterial system. Blood that’s under high pressure for extended periods can lead to arterial damage, which in turn causes some of the most serious health problems you can face.

One of the chief problems with high blood pressure is that you can have it without knowing, as it doesn’t cause any symptoms. Without a regular blood pressure checkup at Commonwealth Internal Medicine, the first time you realize you have high blood pressure could be when you have a stroke or heart attack.

How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is one of the simplest tests you can have. Your provider at Commonwealth Internal Medicine wraps a blood pressure cuff around your upper arm and inflates it. When it’s tight enough, they can take a reading that indicates the force of blood pumping through your arteries.

The blood pressure check only takes a couple of minutes and produces two measurements. One, the systolic reading, is taken when the heart’s beating; the other, diastolic reading, is taken in between heartbeats.

Healthy blood pressure is 120 or lower (systolic) and 80 or lower (diastolic). Raised blood pressure readings are between 121 and 140 systolic, and 81 and 90 diastolic. Raised blood pressure is a warning to take action before it increases any further.

High blood pressure is a reading of 141 systolic or over, or 91 diastolic or over. Readings this high are likely to be harming your health, and you should reduce your blood pressure to prevent serious damage. Dangerously high blood pressure of over 160 systolic or 100 diastolic means you are at a significant risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

How is high blood pressure treated?

Blood pressure most often increases to an unhealthy level because of how people lead their lives. Being overweight or obese, making poor diet choices, smoking, drinking excessively, and not getting much exercise is a sure recipe for health problems.

To combat the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle, the team at Commonwealth Internal Medicine can help you in whichever ways you need, such as:

  • Monitoring blood pressure
  • Creating diet plans
  • Helping you get in shape
  • Stress management
  • Smoking cessation
  • Reducing alcohol intake

Some patients with high blood pressure also need to take medication to help lower their readings. When your blood pressure is at a healthier level, you might not need the medication anymore.

Your provider at Commonwealth Internal Medicine might also want to check your heart function if you have high blood pressure using an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), echocardiogram, or Doppler ultrasound.

To schedule a consultation and have your blood pressure checked, call Commonwealth Internal Medicine today.