Health First Primary Care
Primary Care Practice & Internal Medicine located in Tampa, FL & Tampa, FL
High blood pressure is a serious health risk, especially since the condition rarely causes clear symptoms in the early stages. At Health First Primary Care, Gisela Vargas, MD, and her team offer outstanding care for high blood pressure and have helped many men and women in Tampa, Florida, bring their numbers down to healthy levels. Call the office, or spend a few moments on the online booking page to set up your visit.
High Blood Pressure Q & A
What is high blood pressure?
The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension. It’s a common condition and one that can sneak up on you. To understand high blood pressure, give some thought to how your circulatory system works.
Each time your heart beats, it pumps oxygenated blood into your arteries. That beating places pressure on the walls of arteries, and when the pressure rises, so does your risk of serious health problems.
Blood pressure is measured at the time of each heartbeat (systolic) and in the brief pause between heartbeats (diastolic). Normal blood pressure falls below 120 systolic and 80 diastolic. When your readings exceed those levels, you enter stages of elevated blood pressure, two stages of hypertension, and eventually hypertensive crisis.
What causes high blood pressure?
A number of things can contribute to high blood pressure, including:
- Thyroid problems
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney problems
- Congenital blood vessel defects
- Illegal drug use
- Certain prescription medications
- Uncontrolled stress
- Sedentary lifestyle
In some cases, there is no clear cause for high blood pressure. The condition can occur gradually over time, and the first sign of a problem could be a serious health issue like a heart attack or stroke.
What can I do to control high blood pressure?
The first step is to learn your blood pressure numbers and determine your risk level for hypertension. When you come in for routine health visits at Health First Primary Care, a blood pressure reading is always part of the process. Once you know your numbers, you have a way to set goals and track your progress.
Medication can help control blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessel walls, helping your kidneys process sodium and water, or slow your heart rate. Finding the right mix of medications might take a period of trial and error.
Improving your diet is also important. You should strive to eat more fruits and vegetables and avoid high sodium and highly processed foods. Medically supervised weight management is a great option, and it’s provided at Health First Primary Care.
Increasing your physical activity can also help reduce your blood pressure relatively quickly. Even taking a daily walk will help. Health First Primary Care offers access to a wellness center with many programs designed to enhance your life, including education and social options. This can go a long way toward reducing stress and providing a network of support as you make lifestyle changes.
If you live with high stress, find a plan to help you achieve a better emotional balance. If you’re a smoker, your practitioner can help you find a smoking cessation program that works for you.
Learn how to take control of your blood pressure and your health during a one-on-one physical exam. Booking takes just moments online or over the phone, so don’t delay.