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High Blood Pressure Specialist

Dr. Susan Rife and Associates Family Medicine -  - Family Medicine

Dr. Susan Rife and Associates Family Medicine

Family Medicine & Medical Weight Loss located in Orland Park, IL

Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure, but many don’t know their health is at risk. The providers at Dr. Susan Rife and Associates Family Medicine in Orland Park, Illinois, offer expert diagnosis and customized treatment for hypertension to lower your blood pressure and protect your health. Call the office today or schedule a consultation online for personalized health care.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What is high blood pressure?

As your blood courses through your body, it presses against the walls of your blood vessels. This force is known as blood pressure. Healthy blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg or lower. The numbers represent the exerted force when your heart beats and when it rests between beats.

Any blood pressure reading that’s 120/80 mmHg or higher is considered elevated. Stage 1 hypertension occurs when your blood pressure is 130/80 mmHg or higher. As the severity of your condition increases, so do your blood pressure readings.

What causes high blood pressure?

Your genetics and family medical history contribute to your risk of developing high blood pressure, but lifestyle factors also apply. For example, if you’re overweight, you smoke, or you don’t get enough physical activity, you’re more likely to develop hypertension. 

Other risk factors include:

  • Aging
  • Consuming too much salt and fat
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Stress

Health issues such as kidney disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders, and sleep apnea can also lead to high blood pressure. 

What are the signs of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure doesn’t usually cause symptoms until it reaches advanced stages. Having routine blood pressure screenings during your annual physical is the best way to monitor your blood pressure and identify any changes.

Advanced hypertension can cause symptoms such as headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

Suppose you have a high blood pressure reading during your annual physical or your provider looks back through your medical records and notices an upward trend in your blood pressure numbers. In that case, they will begin to monitor you more closely.

You may need to monitor your blood pressure at home several times a day to determine if your elevated blood pressure was a one-off or if certain activities or situations trigger spikes. 

Your provider may also order additional lab tests, ambulatory monitoring, an electrocardiogram, or an echocardiogram to evaluate your condition. 

How is high blood pressure treated?

The Dr. Susan Rife and Associates Family Medicine team provides comprehensive blood pressure monitoring and treatment. Almost all patients with high blood pressure can benefit from lifestyle changes, including increased exercise, dietary changes, weight loss, and smoking cessation.

In some cases, lifestyle modifications can lower your blood pressure. Still, when those changes don’t reduce your blood pressure enough, your provider can prescribe medication including diuretics, vasodilators, and other drugs to manage your condition. 

Call Dr. Susan Rife and Associates Family Medicine today or make an appointment online for patient-focused hypertension management.