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High Blood Pressure

Youth and You

Family Medicine located in North Miami Beach, FL

More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, and because it has no obvious symptoms, many don’t even know it. High blood pressure severely compromises your long-term health and increases your risk of issues such as heart attack and stroke. At Youth and You in North Miami Beach, Florida, family medicine specialist Florence Foucauld, MD, provides diagnosis and maintenance of high blood pressure, so you manage the condition and avoid complications. Call to have your blood pressure checked, or book your appointment online.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

When is high blood pressure diagnosed?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the condition that occurs when the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries is too high. Your blood pressure is measured both when your heart beats (the higher, or systolic, number) and when your heart rests between beats (the lower, or diastolic number). 

When your blood pressure is unusually high at three or more visits, you may be diagnosed with hypertension. A normal blood pressure reading is 119/79 or lower. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. You may also be diagnosed with a condition called prehypertension if your systolic number is between 120 and 139, or the bottom number is between 80 and 89. Prehypertension is likely to progress to full high blood pressure if left unaddressed. 

What are the risk factors for developing high blood pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure, especially as they age, but certain factors increase your risk. These include: 

  • Family history
  • Overweight and obesity
  • High sodium diets and diets low in potassium or vitamin D
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Smoking and excessive drinking also put you at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure.

What is the treatment for high blood pressure?

Dr. Foucauld manages your high blood pressure with prescription medications, lifestyle recommendations, and regular monitoring. Medications, such as calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors, relax blood vessels, and ease the stress on your heart. 

You also receive support for making significant lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, reducing alcohol consumption, and decreasing sodium intake. Smoking cessation and an increase in physical activity are also essential parts of high blood pressure management. 

What are the complications of unmanaged hypertension?

Hypertension doesn’t have an immediate effect on your daily life until it’s reached a crisis level. The condition continues to damage your body internally, however. Without monitoring and management, high blood pressure can contribute to: 

  • Heart disease, heart failure, and stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Vision loss
  • Trouble with memory and understanding
  • Metabolic syndrome

Make an appointment at Youth and You to be screened today, so you can avoid these complications if you have high blood pressure. Call the office or book an appointment online.