Hypertension

Edward Carrington, MD -  - Primary Care

Edward Carrington, MD

Primary Care located in Mesa, AZ

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common problem facing adults in the United States, affecting almost 50% of this population group. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease over time, but fortunately, hypertension is highly treatable. At Edward A. Carrington, MD, in Mesa, Arizona, Dr. Carrington monitors blood pressure and treats it when necessary to lower your risk of heart problems in the future. Schedule an appointment online or by phone today.

Hypertension Q & A

What is hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when the force of blood pressing against artery walls is too high. Heart disease can develop from high blood pressure over time, as the heart works harder than it was designed to.

Blood pressure consists of two readings: your systolic blood pressure (pressure when your heart beats) over your diastolic blood pressure (pressure between heart beats). Your blood pressure is high if your reading is 130/80 or higher. Your provider uses a machine with a blood pressure cuff to check your blood pressure.

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

Many people with high blood pressure have no symptoms at all, even if their blood pressure is extremely high. If you do experience symptoms, you may notice:

  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms usually indicate your blood pressure is dangerously high or has reached a life-threatening stage. That’s why having your blood pressure checked regularly is so important.

What are the risk factors for hypertension?

The cause of high blood pressure isn’t always known, but several factors can increase your risk. Examples include:

  • Older age or being of African descent
  • A family history of high blood pressure
  • Being sedentary
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Eating a high-sodium diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Getting too little potassium in your diet
  • Having kidney disease, sleep apnea, or diabetes
  • Chronic stress

Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent or fight hypertension and lower heart disease risks.

How is hypertension treated?

Dr. Carrington treats high blood pressure using various methods, such as:

Lifestyle changes

Your provider counsels you about ways to lower blood pressure naturally, without medications. This strategy is often a first line of defense, especially if your levels are borderline high. Examples include:

  • Lose weight if you’re overweight
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol
  • Increase physical activity
  • Reduce sodium in your diet
  • Increase potassium, especially from fruits and vegetables
  • Don’t smoke
  • Reduce stress

For best results, aim to lower your sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams or less daily by eliminating processed foods, canned foods with added salt, salty snacks, and salt shakers.

Medications

If your blood pressure is still high after making lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend blood pressure-lowering medications, and works with you to find medicines that best match your needs.

Call Dr. Carrington’s office to schedule a blood pressure screening today or book an appointment online.