Woodlands Vein Center & Preventative Medicine Clinic
Vein Treatment and Cardiac Preventive Care located in Shenandoah, TX
Uncontrolled hypertension or elevated blood pressure can cause serious, even life-threatening health problems. Board-certified nurse practitioner Eliza Codd, ARNP, FNP-BC, AG-ACNP-BC, CLS, at Woodlands Vein Center & Preventative Medicine Clinic in Shenandoah, Texas, specializes in chronic disease management and preventive care focused on helping you live the healthiest life possible. Patients greatly appreciate the team’s medical expertise and commitment to creating personalized treatment plans. Schedule a blood pressure checkup today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.
Blood Pressure Q&A
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure measures the force your blood creates as it pushes against the walls of your arteries. The top number is your systolic pressure, which occurs when your heart beats. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure, which occurs between beats when your heart is at rest.
A normal systolic blood pressure is 120 or less, and a normal diastolic blood pressure is 80 or less, recorded as 120/80.
What health risks are associated with high blood pressure?
Persistently elevated blood pressure readings can cause:
- Damage to your arteries that makes them vulnerable to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis)
- Loss of elasticity/stiffening of artery walls that can restrict blood flow
- Weakened area (aneurysm) in an arterial wall that may eventually rupture
- Enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy)
- Heart failure
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Vascular dementia
- Kidney scarring and kidney failure
- Retinopathy, which can lead to vision loss
- Erectile dysfunction in men
High blood pressure is often asymptomatic until the condition has progressed enough to cause significant health complications.
What causes high blood pressure?
Factors that may contribute to high blood pressure include:
- Kidney disease
- Excess weight
- Family history in parents or siblings
- Elevated cholesterol
- Hormone imbalances
- Diets high in fat and/or salt
- High stress lifestyle
- Lack of exercise
- Age, more common in middle-aged adults but can occur at any age
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Certain medications, including birth control pills and decongestants
Interestingly, more men than women tend to develop elevated blood pressure before age 55. After age 55, however, women are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
How do you treat high blood pressure?
Depending on your readings, your Woodlands Vein Center & Preventative Medicine Clinic provider may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure as well as lifestyle changes such as:
- Increased exercise
- Weight loss
- Improved diet
- Stress reduction
To help determine whether underlying factors are contributing to your elevated blood pressure, your provider may also recommend diagnostic studies such as an echocardiogram to measure your heart function, urine studies to check kidney function, and other blood tests to evaluate your cholesterol levels.
You’ll also be asked to monitor your blood pressure closely. Home blood pressure machines are available at most pharmacies. You should also, of course, return to the office as requested for routine blood pressure and medication checks.
If you’ve noticed your blood pressure creeping up or would like to discuss ways to prevent elevated blood pressure, schedule a visit today. Call Woodlands Vein Center & Preventative Medicine Clinic or request an appointment online.