What is High Blood Pressure and How is it Treated?

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High blood pressure is one of the most common conditions seen in the field of cardiology. A certain amount of pressure is needed to adequately pump your blood through your arteries to your vital organs. If this pressure is too high, the strain on your arteries can eventually lead to stroke, heart attack and heart failure.

There are many factors that contribute to high blood pressure such as gender, race, age, chronic health conditions, diet, stress and genetics. High blood pressure is typically diagnosed in men over the age of 45 and women over 55. While HBP may run in families and be exacerbated by other health conditions, there are many ways you can manage and even avoid it altogether.

A leading cause of chronic high blood pressure is high cholesterol. When you have elevated levels of the “bad” cholesterol LDL, this leads to a build up of plaque in your arteries which then contributes to restricted blood flow. However, having high blood pressure doesn’t always mean you’ll have high cholesterol. Often times stress, anxiety or even too much caffeine can cause high blood pressure.

Because there are so many factors that can lead to high blood pressure, it’s essential that you talk to your doctor to find out what precisely is causing your symptoms. If anxiety, stress or depression is the cause, your doctor can help you outline a program to improve your mental health. This is also the case if your HBP is caused by high cholesterol. By sitting down with your doctor, you can more easily identify what lifestyle changes must be made and if a prescription medication is necessary.

Stress Management

Feeling overworked, overwhelmed and overly tired? You’re not alone. Stress and anxiety are the body’s response to emotional or physical tension. One might feel angry, frustrated, nervous or panicky. These emotions can then take a physical toll on your body as they can cause excessive sweating, rapid heart rate, fatigue, depression and hyperventilation.

We know what you’re probably thinking – “Everyone gets stressed out! It’s part of life. No need to make such a big deal of it.” And you’d be correct – stress is actually one of the most basic survival instincts we have. Stress stimulates our fight-or-flight response to get us out of danger and stress can help us to focus when we need to meet major deadlines. Occasional stress in short-term situations can absolutely be beneficial to our daily lives, but so often, stress becomes unnecessarily chronic. If you begin to experience chronic stress, you may want to reevaluate your current circumstances.

Chronic stress over a long period of time can have devastating effects on not only your mental health, but your physical health as well. If you want to begin to manage your stress and lessen your anxiety, it’s important to first identify your environmental triggers. These are events or situations that happen externally that cause you to feel overwhelmed and anxious on an unrealistic level. Ask yourself, “are any of these situations avoidable?” If they are, you’re in luck – simply don’t partake in them. But if your circumstances are unavoidable, like so many are, then see if there are minor changes you can make to your daily routine to alleviate your anxiety. Even simple accommodations like taking an alternate route to work to avoid traffic or waking up five minutes earlier in the morning to meditate before starting your day can make a world of difference.

If you’ve already made these changes and are still experiencing chronic stress or the subsequent anxiety or depression, then perhaps it’s time to speak with your doctor about medications that can help alleviate your symptoms.

Visit Perlman Clinic today if you are experiencing high blood pressure. Our clinics are located in Hillcrest, Kensington, Downtown San Diego, La Jolla, Carlsbad and Chula Vista. and our newest location, Del Mar.