Approximately one in every three adults has high blood pressure or hypertension. This rampant condition must be controlled to avoid developing heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, and other serious complications. Dr. Vijay Patel is an experienced internal medicine doctor who can help diagnose and manage hypertension. If you live in Perth Amboy, New Jersey or Old Bridge, New Jersey, call his office for an appointment or use the online booking agent to take control of your health today.
High Blood Pressure Q & A
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure describes a condition in which the force of your blood against your artery walls is higher than normal. This condition can cause excess stress to your body, especially the heart and other organs.
Blood pressure is expressed by a systolic number over a diastolic number. Systolic pressure represents the pressure of your blood each time the heart beats; diastolic pressure is the pressure of your blood when the heart rests between beats. The following numbers help you understand your diagnosis:
- 120/80, or below, is considered normal and healthy
- 121/81 or higher, is considered elevated
- 131/81 or higher, is diagnosed as stage 1 hypertension
- 141/91 or higher, is diagnosed as stage 2 hypertension
- 180/120 or higher, is a blood pressure crisis
How is high blood pressure diagnosed?
High blood pressure has very few outward symptoms until you reach a crisis level. This is why blood pressure measurements are a regular part of your annual physical exams. Dr. Patel then tracks your pressure over time and evaluates changes. He takes into account your emotions, heart condition, and any medications you take. One high reading is not a diagnosis. To have an official hypertension diagnosis, you need at least three elevated readings taken at different times.
How is high blood pressure managed?
Dr. Patel offers education, lifestyle modification recommendations, and medications to help you control your blood pressure. He emphasizes a healthy diet, weight management, physical activity, and moderation of alcohol.
Dr. Patel may also recommend diuretics as the first line of therapy. Depending on your levels and risk factors for high blood pressure complications, he may also prescribe other medications, including beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and ACE inhibitors. He monitors how you respond to medication, and if it doesn’t work or if it brings on unpleasant side effects, he recommends additional or alternative medications.
What are the risks of uncontrolled blood pressure?
High blood pressure management is essential to your long-term health. The disease is often called the “silent killer” because it doesn’t have notable symptoms but does internal damage to your heart and other internal organs. Possible complications include:
- Heart attack, heart failure, and stroke
- Kidney problems caused by weakened and narrowed blood vessels
- Vision loss due to narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes
- Trouble with memory and understanding
- Metabolic syndrome, a collection of conditions including excessive belly fat, high triglycerides, and high insulin levels