High Blood Pressure

Alkeshkumar Patel, MD -  - Internist

Citrus Medical Clinic

Alkeshkumar Patel, MD

Internist & Primary Care Physician located in Chandler, AZ & Safford, AZ

About 34% of adults have high blood pressure, whether they know it or not because it doesn’t cause symptoms. Dr. Alkeshkumar Patel at Citrus Medical Clinic has years of experience effectively treating high blood pressure and helping patients prevent complications such as coronary artery disease. If you have any questions about high blood pressure, call his office in Chandler or Safford, Arizona, or book an appointment online.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What causes high blood pressure?

Blood pushes against blood vessel walls as it flows through your arteries. Blood pressure is the amount of force against the wall, which is determined by the strength of your heart’s muscle contraction, the amount of blood sent through your arteries every minute, and the total volume of blood in your body.

The most common causes of high blood pressure, or hypertension, are related to lifestyle factors, including:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Sedentary habits
  • Diet high in salt
  • Diet low in potassium
  • Chronic stress
  • Cigarette smoking

In some cases, an underlying health condition causes high blood pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, kidney disease, and thyroid disorders are a few of the conditions that contribute to hypertension.

Why is high blood pressure dangerous?

High blood pressure that persists over time damages your arteries, creating rough spots in the blood vessel wall where cholesterol accumulates. The cholesterol builds up and hardens into plaque, causing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic plaque blocks blood flow and increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

What symptoms are caused by high blood pressure?

Hypertension seldom causes symptoms. You can have high blood pressure and never know it until it becomes severe enough to cause coronary artery disease.

How is blood pressure treated?

Dr. Patel determines whether you have any underlying health conditions. If problems are identified, they’re treated along with therapy directly targeting high blood pressure.

Treatment for high blood pressure includes assessing and changing lifestyle factors, and antihypertensive medications as necessary. Your individualized treatment plan may incorporate:

Lifestyle changes

The primary lifestyle issue that affects many patients is a high-salt diet. Consuming excessive salt makes your body retain water, which increases blood volume. Losing weight if needed and finding ways to reduce stress also help lower blood pressure.

Medications

When lifestyle changes don’t help, or if your blood pressure is quite high at the time you’re diagnosed, Dr. Patel prescribes medication. The doctor can choose medication to meet your specific health needs because the various types of antihypertensive medications work using different mechanisms:

  • Diuretics: Reduce blood volume
  • Beta blockers: Reduce workload on heart and open blood vessels
  • Calcium channel blockers: Relax muscles in blood vessels
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: Relax blood vessels
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): Relax blood vessels using different action than ACE