Hypertension

Raleigh Associated Medical Specialists

Internists located in Raleigh, NC

Approximately half of American adults suffer from hypertension, but since the condition is symptomless, you might not realize you have it. At Raleigh Associated Medical Specialists, our healthcare providers offer expert care to lower and control your blood pressure so you can lead a healthy, active life. If you live in or around Raleigh, North Carolina and need medical care for your hypertension, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Hypertension Q & A

What is hypertension?

Your blood pressure is the force exerted on the walls of your blood vessels, both when your heart beats and when it’s at rest. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mg/Hg, which represents your systolic (active) and diastolic (resting) pressure. When your blood pressure reading is 130/80 mg/Hg or higher, you’re diagnosed with hypertension.

Hypertension is often referred to as the silent killer because it doesn’t show noticeable symptoms until you have an episode like a heart attack or stroke. When hypertension reaches advanced stages, you may experience headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds.

What causes hypertension?

Hypertension is usually caused by unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, including:

  • High fat, high salt diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Stress

Advanced age and a family history of hypertension increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.

How is hypertension diagnosed?

The providers at RAMS offer routine blood pressure screenings at your annual wellness exam using the traditional inflatable cuff and stethoscope. If your reading is high or has increased from your previous visit, he will schedule a series of blood pressure tests at different times of the day to ensure your high reading isn’t an aberration.

The providers at RAMS also provides comprehensive consultations to discuss your lifestyle, check your other vital signs, and analyze your overall wellness. It’s important, to be honest with Dr. Cook about your diet and exercise habits, as well as your use of alcohol and cigarettes.

How is hypertension treated?

Whenever possible, the providers at RAMS use a preventive approach to help you avoid high blood pressure in the first place. He may suggest lifestyle changes to keep your blood pressure in check, even if it’s already elevated.

For example, you can adjust your diet to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. You can also reduce your consumption of fat, salt, processed foods, and alcohol.

If you’re a smoker, the providers at RAMS can provide smoking cessation support. Additionally, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, such as a brisk walk.

If these lifestyle changes don’t sufficiently lower your blood pressure, the providers at RAMS can prescribe medication like beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics to reduce your risk of hypertension.

If you’re concerned about hypertension, call Raleigh Associated Medical Specialists or book an appointment online for expert care.