High Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association estimates that over 103 million American adults have high blood pressure or hypertension. If you have a history of high blood pressure, the team at Innovative Care Medicine – Riverside in Riverside, California, can help. Between coaching you with lifestyle changes and managing your medications, Dr. Ohri strives to help lower your blood pressure and preserve your heart health. Schedule your high blood pressure evaluation by using the online booking feature or by calling the office.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

Why is high blood pressure a concern?

Your blood pressure includes both the force exerted when your heart pumps blood, as well as the resistance of blood flow throughout your arteries. The narrower your arteries, for example, if you have cholesterol buildup (atherosclerosis), the harder your heart has to work.

Over time, this extra strain on your heart muscle begins to weaken it. Plus, the added force can damage arteries, veins, and vessels. This combination of issues can drastically increase your risk of stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease.

How can I tell if I have high blood pressure?

Generally, you do not know before your diagnosis. Much like high cholesterol, high blood pressure can also be a “silent killer,” since it doesn’t typically lead to any signs or symptoms until you have a severe issue. Usually, your blood pressure should be less than 120/80 mmHg. Dr. Ohri might diagnose you with high blood pressure if it reaches or goes above 140/90 mmHg.

If you do start experiencing symptoms related to high blood pressure, it’s because you’re usually having a hypertensive crisis, where your blood pressure reaches above 180/120 mmHg. When this happens, you might notice:

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds

Because a hypertensive crisis is considered a medical emergency, you need to seek immediate medical treatment.

How is high blood pressure treated?

Some of the best things you can do to treat high blood pressure are equally as beneficial for lowering your cholesterol and preserving your overall heart health. For instance, Dr. Ohri can get you started on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which involves reducing your sodium intake.

Between making healthy changes in your diet, reaching an ideal body weight, and exercising more, your blood pressure should gradually improve. If lifestyle changes aren’t working or if your blood pressure is dangerously high, Dr. Ohri might prescribe medications. High blood pressure medications work by:

  • Eliminating excess sodium and water from your system
  • Relaxing blood vessels
  • Slowing your heart rate

Because each drug works differently, Dr. Ohri spends time with you to determine which medication is most likely going to benefit you.

Book your high blood pressure visit at Innovative Care Medicine – Riverside either online or over the phone.