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High Blood Pressure

Compassionate Family Medicine

Family Medicine & Primary Care Practice located in Downtown, Syracuse, NY & North, Syracuse, NY

High blood pressure affects nearly half of all adults, yet most aren’t even aware of the problem because they don’t develop symptoms. Compassionate Family Medicine offers blood pressure screening, multimodal treatment for high blood pressure, and long-term health management at each of its four New York offices, located in Downtown Syracuse, North Syracuse, Baldwinsville, and Lyncourt. If you need care for high blood pressure, call one of the offices.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What causes high blood pressure?

Some people develop high blood pressure, or hypertension, due to an underlying condition such as obstructive sleep apnea. In most cases, however, high blood pressure occurs over many years of lifestyle problems or habits such as:

  • Being overweight
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Consuming too much salt
  • Eating too few vegetables and fruits
  • Being under persistent stress
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking too much alcohol

Hypertension also runs in families, so you can inherit a genetic tendency toward the disease. 

What health complications does hypertension cause?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against your blood vessel walls. When the pressure increases, it damages the wall, creating a spot where cholesterol gets stuck.

Over time, cholesterol accumulates, creating plaque that enlarges and narrows the artery. This condition, called atherosclerosis, limits blood flow through the artery and reduces the blood supply to tissues.

Additionally, your heart must work harder than normal to force blood through the narrowed artery, which damages heart muscles. If the plaque ruptures, pieces travel through your bloodstream, where they can block blood flow in the arteries of your heart or brain. 

What symptoms develop due to high blood pressure?

Most patients never experience symptoms until hypertension is severe enough to cause:

  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm

The lack of symptoms is why it’s so important to get an annual preventive exam and have your blood pressure checked.

How is high blood pressure treated?

When your Compassionate Family Medicine doctor diagnoses high blood pressure at an early stage, changes in your diet, getting more exercise, and losing weight are often enough to bring your blood pressure back to the normal range.

If your high blood pressure persists despite lifestyle changes, or you have severe hypertension upon diagnosis, then your doctor prescribes medications. For example, you may need medications that lower your blood pressure, relieve chest pain, or thin your blood.

When might I need an EKG?

An electrocardiogram, or EKG, records the electrical signals in your heart. Compassionate Family Medicine often performs an EKG in the office to:

  • Detect blocked or narrowed coronary arteries
  • Determine the cause of chest pain
  • Diagnose heart failure
  • Diagnose inflammation of your heart
  • Identify damage to heart muscles

Compassionate Family Medicine recommends EKG’s for patients who have a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, such as those with high blood pressure.

If you need to have your blood pressure checked or you’d like help managing hypertension, call Compassionate Family Medicine.