High blood pressure is a silent killer that afflicts about 75 million Americans, but through early detection and treatment, you can control the disease and live a healthy life. Whether you’re at risk to develop high blood pressure or you have it already, Kanagaratnam Sivalingam, MD, at First Valley Medical Group in Lancaster, California, can diagnose and treat your high blood pressure and can educate you to manage it properly. Call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against your blood vessels. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is when the pressure in your arteries is higher than it should be.
Over time, the added pressure puts too much stress on your heart and arteries and increases your chances of developing life-threatening complications like heart disease and stroke.
Dr. Sivalingam or a member of his team places a pressure cuff — a sphygmomanometer — over your upper arm and inflates the cuff.
When it’s inflated the cuff cuts off blood flow to your brachial artery. The air is then slowly released while your provider measures your blood pressure.
Blood pressure is measured as two numbers. The first measures your systolic pressure, the amount of pressure your blood puts against your artery walls when your heart beats. The second measures your diastolic pressure, the amount of pressure between your heartbeats.
A normal blood pressure reading is anything at or below 120/80 mm Hg. A reading of 120-129 over 80 mm Hg indicates that you have elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure is a pressure reading on more than two occasions of 130 or higher over 80 mm Hg.
Unlike many other diseases where you can take a course of medication and be cured, high blood pressure doesn’t have one cure.
Medication combined with significant lifestyle changes can help lower your numbers and decrease your chances of developing other illnesses like heart disease. Ways to help lower your blood pressure include:
Eat a nutritious, low-fat diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy and avoid foods high in saturated fats and salt.
Get regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day.
Being physically fit goes a long way toward keeping your blood pressure within a healthy range. Even a small reduction in your weight can have huge effects in lowering your reading.
Learn to deal with stress in healthy ways to reduce your chances of high blood pressure and other health issues.
Don’t smoke at all and don’t drink too much alcohol. They’re both proven to raise your blood pressure.
If your blood pressure is already high, along with lifestyle changes your provider could prescribe medication to help get your pressure under control.
To have your blood pressure checked or to learn more about how to manage your high blood pressure, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment at First Valley Medical Group today.