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High Blood Pressure

Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care

Internal Medicine & Urgent Care located in Duarte, CA

High blood pressure can occur suddenly or gradually over time, but it’s dangerous in either form. Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to dangerous complications, including heart disease. If you haven’t had a recent screening for high blood pressure, schedule one today with Ulin Sargeant, MD, MPH, at Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care. Call the office in Duarte, California, today to make an appointment, or make one with the online scheduling tool.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition that affects millions of Americans every year. If you have high blood pressure, it means that the force of your blood pumping through your veins and arteries is great enough to cause damage to these blood vessels and to your heart. High blood pressure can be caused by the amount of blood being pumped by your heart and also by the narrowing of your veins and arteries.

High blood pressure can come about gradually and usually begins without showing any symptoms. Regular screenings for high blood pressure are a vital step for protecting yourself from heart disease.

What causes high blood pressure?

There are two kinds of high blood pressure: primary and secondary. Most adults who have high blood pressure have the primary variety. Primary hypertension occurs over many years and usually has no discernible underlying cause.

Secondary hypertension refers to high blood pressure that’s caused by an underlying condition. This variety of hypertension tends to appear suddenly and is often caused by conditions like:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Kidney problems
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Thyroid problems
  • Congenital defects in your blood vessels
  • Use of certain medications, like birth control, certain decongestants, and other prescription drugs
  • Use of illegal drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine

There are also a variety of risk factors for high blood pressure. You’re more likely to have high blood pressure as you age, and African-Americans are especially vulnerable to the condition. If you have a family history of heart disease, are overweight or obese, or are a former or current smoker, your risk of developing high blood pressure will be dramatically raised.

How is high blood pressure treated?

The first step to treating high blood pressure is to make some small diet and lifestyle changes. Dr. Sargeant may suggest that you start a heart-healthy diet, with a lowered salt intake. Getting regular exercise and limiting the amount of alcohol you drink are also helpful in lowering your blood pressure.

If the lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower your blood pressure on their own, medication is also available to treat high blood pressure. Ask Dr. Sargeant if one of these is right for you to find out which medication is best for your overall state of health and your goals.

If you haven’t had a recent screening for high blood pressure, call Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care today to schedule an appointment, or book one online.