Morning Rounds: What you need to know about hypertension

Morning Rounds: What you need to know about hypertension


well good morning and welcome back I’m joined by dr. Casey Harbaugh in for another edition of morning rounds thanks for joining us today yeah thank you today we’re talking about understanding hypertension so first question what is hypertension so it’s just elevated blood pressure in general normal blood pressure should be between less than 120 over 80 120 is a systolic measurement which is the pressure in your arteries when the heart squeezes the blood out and then the bottom numbers is represents diastolic pressure which is when the heart is relaxing and the pressure measured in the arteries Stage one hypertension is kind of that sort of in-between between full-on hypertension and and normal blood pressure that requires attention and potentially treatment and that’s measured at 120 to 129 over 80 to 89 and stage 2 hypertension is a blood pressure greater than 140 over 90 okay so what are some causes of high blood pressure so you know a lot of it of course is genetics and then as we age our arteries get harder and so the blood pressure measurements go up but there are a lot of modifiable risk factors so for one obesity really can increase one’s blood pressure smoking causes increase in blood pressure alcohol consumption anything more than one to two drinks a day can really increase a person’s blood pressure and stopping it can actually show reduction obstructive sleep apnea so there are probably a lot of people who don’t realize they have a obstructive sleep apnea and over time this can create elevated blood pressure and then stress also constant stress elevate your blood pressure and then there are some other hormonal illnesses that can cause increases in blood pressure are there any symptoms or why should we care about them right so this is the problem most of the time a hypertension is asymptomatic I mean if your blood pressure gets really high you might start having trouble with your vision or your headache but vast majority of the time most people don’t know they have it if no one’s checked it and the issue is it’s a silent killer it’s the number one cause of heart attack and stroke and so actually paying attention right now to it will really help you down the line what are some of the treatment options out there so you know I think the first thing to do is if you have stage 1 hypertension or especially if you think you’re at risk for it look at what you can modify if you’re overweight work on an exercise program and try and figure out how to become not overweight it’s quit smoking modify your alcohol use if you have obstructive sleep apnea and you’re worried about it get tested and treat it and then you know the other thing is if a lot of people think they have white coat hypertension which is a real thing right where you go into your doctor’s office and you get your blood pressure checked and it’s higher because you’re worried about getting your blood pressure checked and even told us hi the problem is are you somebody who also gets those same kind of stress and anxiety reactions when you’re driving in your car on your way home or when you’re standing in the line at the grocery store I mean if that’s something if you’re experiencing that kind of stress all the time then that is something to address as well and trying to figure out ways to modify your stress through either biofeedback or meditation or whatever can actually really help as well and then if your blood pressure is after you’ve made some of those modifiable changes is still really high it’s probably your best bet to get on a medication and to follow it and really take charge of it alright well thank you for answering those questions for us have you have any questions you’d like us to answer here on morning rounds you can email them to us morning rounds at k-pax

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