High Blood Pressure

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition in which the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is too high. This serious health condition can eventually cause heart disease and additional health issues. Your blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood that your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in the arteries. If your heart pumps a lot of blood and your arteries are too narrow, then your blood pressure will be high. This condition usually develops over many years and will affect everyone eventually. Luckily, it can be easily detected. Once high blood pressure has been discovered, it can be controlled and monitored.

Blood pressure measurements:

  • Normal: below 120/80 mm Hg
  • Elevated: systolic pressure ranging from 120-129 mm Hg and diastolic pressure that is below 80 mm Hg
  • Stage 1 hypertension: systolic pressure ranging from 130-139 mm Hg and diastolic pressure ranging from 80-89 mm Hg
  • Stage 2 hypertension: systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher

What are the signs and symptoms?

Even if someone’s blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels, most people will not experience any signs or symptoms. You may experience nosebleeds, shortness of breath or headaches, but those symptoms are not specific and usually only occur at a severe or life-threatening stage.

What are the causes?

The two types of hypertension are primary (essential) and secondary. In most cases with primary hypertension, there is no identifiable cause. This type of hypertension tends to develop slowly over many years. Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying condition. This type usually develops suddenly and causes higher blood pressure readings. The underlying conditions and medications that can lead to secondary hypertension include:

  • Kidney problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Congenital defects in the blood vessels
  • Amphetamines, cocaine and other illegal drugs
  • Birth control pills
  • Cold remedies
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Decongestants
  • Certain prescription drugs

Schedule an appointment in Fairbanks, Alaska

If you live in or around Fairbanks and you have high blood pressure, or suspect that you have high blood pressure, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nick Sarrimanolis. Men around the age of 64 and women older than 65 are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Obesity, family history, tobacco use, alcohol, sodium, stress and certain chronic conditions can all increase the risk of hypertension. Get an evaluation and medical advice in order to avoid further health complications down the road.* To get started, fill out the request form on our site or give us a call at (907) 451-1174.

*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.

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