Hypertension Specialist

AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care of Alexandria

Primary Care Physicians located in Alexandria, VA

High blood pressure, medically known as hypertension, affects around 103 million Americans. If you have hypertension, you’re at risk for heart attack, stroke, and even death if you don’t take steps to normalize your blood pressure levels. Fortunately, you have a great resource in the helpful team at AllCare Family Medicine & Urgent Care of Alexandria in Alexandria, Virginia. Your expert care providers help with prevention, diagnosis, and treatment so you can live a healthy life again. Use online booking or call the office to make your appointment today.

Hypertension Q &A

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is a dangerous condition in which the pressure within your blood vessels is too high. This condition puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, both of which can be fatal. In most cases, hypertension is very manageable with help from your care providers at AllCare Family Medicine & Urgent Care of Alexandria.

What should my blood pressure reading be?

When you check your blood pressure, you’ll see two numbers. For example, 120/80 mmHg. The top number, your systolic blood pressure, shows the level of pressure during heartbeats. The other number, your diastolic blood pressure, shows the level of pressure when your heart’s at rest between beats.

Blood pressure falls into ranges:

  • Healthy blood pressure: less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic
  • Elevated blood pressure: 120-129 systolic and less than 80 diastolic
  • Hypertension, stage one: 130-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic
  • Hypertension, stage two: 140 or higher systolic or 90 or higher diastolic

Blood pressure of 180/120 mmHg is a medical emergency known as hypertensive crisis. If your blood pressure grows that high, proceed to the ER closest to you immediately.

What causes hypertension?

There’s often no single clear cause of hypertension. It usually develops slowly over the years, most commonly appearing in middle age or senior years. Many things put you at risk for hypertension, including:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Sodium-heavy diet
  • Inadequate potassium in your diet
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Age
  • African race
  • Family history of hypertension

Although you can’t control age, race, or family history, most things that put you at risk for hypertension are very controllable. They’re also some of the same things you need to change if you’re trying to lower your blood pressure.

How is hypertension treated?

Your AllCare Family Medicine & Urgent Care of Alexandria care provider customizes a treatment plan based on your blood pressure and symptoms. Usually, lifestyle changes are the most important factor in lowering your blood pressure.

Common steps include losing weight, beginning a regular exercise routine, and reducing sodium intake. Some medications, for example, decongestants, corticosteroids, and oral contraceptives, raise your blood pressure, so you might need to change medication with your doctor’s help.

If you’re unable to reduce your blood pressure through healthy changes, your doctor may prescribe oral medication to help. Always take medication as directed, under your doctor’s supervision.

You can beat or manage hypertension with help from AllCare Family Medicine & Urgent Care of Alexandria. Click the online scheduler or call the office for hypertension treatment now.