Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), the Silent Killer

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Miguel Nunez, MD

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Joseph Poole, FNP


Many people in our community have an easily manageable health problem that can quickly be identified, treated and resolved to prevent future health issues and mortality.

Risks of Hypertension
The most widely known events from having high blood pressure are often known and include heart attack and stroke. While these 2 outcomes are the worst end result from high blood pressure, other less known issues can occur: These include heart enlargement (which can lead to heart failure) and kidney disease (which can result in a patient needing dialysis from kidney failure). Eye damage (retinopathy) and artery damage (peripheral artery disease) can also occur.

Screening
Approximately 25% of people with hypertension at the doctor’s office suffer from what’s known as “White-Coat Hypertension,” a phenomenon thought to occur from stimuli which raise blood pressure while at a physician’s office. To avoid this phenomenon, what Dr. Nunez and I recommend is to purchase a home blood pressure kit and take a morning and evening blood pressure (separated by 12 hours) for 1 week, while documenting these findings. Once we have this objective data in our hand we can better determine if treatment is needed.

Hypertension in adults is defined as blood pressure of 140/90 based on 2 or more readings (Hart, Bakris, 2009).
Stage 1 Hypertension 140-159/90-99
Stage 2 Hypertension 160 or greater/100 or greater.

Getting started
The initial treatment for hypertension is for us to look at your lifestyle, and to implement recommendations such as weight loss, alcohol moderation and smoking cessation. If these are unsuccessful or you are unable to implement these interventions into your daily activities, it may be time to consider pharmacologic treatment. Sometimes, lifestyle and weight have nothing to do with hypertension. It’s important to remember that hypertension can simply result from the natural progression of aging and the hardening of arteries that occurs with getting older.

Pharmacologic treatment
Don’t be afraid if it becomes time to add a blood pressure lowering agent to your daily medication regimen. Most medications in this category are very affordable, with little side effects. Another less known fact are that the ACE inhibitor/ARB medications can actually be beneficial to your kidneys.

Come see us today to get your Blood Pressure screened and to get on the path to health and wellness.

17448 Highway 3, Suite 200
Webster, TX 77598
(832) 505-1748

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