What Causes High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most common health problems that Americans face. It occurs when the sustained force of blood pumping through the artery walls is too high, which can eventually lead to a variety of serious problems like kidney disease, stroke and heart failure. A normal blood pressure level is considered to be less than “120 over 80” (120/80)—the first number (systolic) refers to blood pressure while the heart is beating, and the second (diastolic) indicates blood pressure in between heart beats.
Most cases of high blood pressure don’t have a clear cause. However, there are several factors that have been proven to contribute to hypertension. These include, but are not limited to:
- A family history of high blood pressure
- Being overweight
- Older age
- A sedentary lifestyle
- High dietary salt intake
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Poor sleep and sleep apnea
- Certain medical conditions, including chronic kidney disease and thyroid disorders
Additionally, men are more likely to experience high blood pressure, and African Americans are at a higher risk of hypertension than most other races. In a small number of cases, high blood pressure is a direct result of a medical condition or a side effect of a certain medication. This is referred to as secondary hypertension.
How to Lower High Blood Pressure
Unmanaged high blood pressure is dangerous, but the good news is there are several self-care measures you can take to lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. With your physician’s guidance, try:
- Losing excess weight
- Engaging in regular low-impact exercise
- Reducing salt intake in your diet
- Drinking less caffeine and alcohol
- Prioritizing sleep
- Implementing stress-relieving techniques, such as meditation or journaling
If your blood pressure remains elevated despite these self-care measures, you may want to ask your doctor about medications that can help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
High Blood Pressure Treatment at Tufts Medical Center Community Care
Tufts Medical Center Community Care is a multispecialty medical group that is trusted by countless patients throughout north suburban Boston. Our growing team of 80+ practitioners includes family medicine doctors, internists, geriatric care specialists and other primary care professionals who provide treatment and ongoing care to patients with high blood pressure. As our patient, you can be assured that you will receive individualized care from physicians who are dedicated to helping you achieve your best health.
Furthermore, Tufts Medical Center Community Care makes it simple to find world-class treatment close to home. Our primary care providers practice at multiple easily accessible locations throughout the area and offer better-than-average appointment availability. In fact, we can often accommodate patients in the evenings and on the weekends.
To speak with a physician about your high blood pressure and your best course of treatment, contact Tufts Medical Center Community Care today. You may also reserve an appointment online at your convenience. Our practice accepts most major health insurance plans.