A healthy start to a new year is always a great plan, but if you're not sure how to begin the process of become a healthier version of yourself this year, speaking with the expert cardiologists at CardioCare cardiology centre in Marbella and ruling out high blood pressure (and, if necessary, getting it under control) is a great place to start.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Hypertension (more commonly known as high blood pressure) is determined by both how hard your heart has to pump blood through your body as well as how difficult it is for oxygen-rich blood to flow through your veins. Measuring it then, is provided in two numbers, systolic pressure (the force within your arteries while your heart is beating) and diastolic pressure (the force within your arteries while in-between heartbeats). Ideally, you want your systolic pressure to be less than 120 and your diastolic pressure to be less than 80 with “high blood pressure” being diagnosed if your systolic pressure is higher than 130 or your diastolic pressure is above 80. The higher either of these numbers go, the more advanced your hypertension is and the greater likelihood that you'll need immediate or emergency treatment.
High blood pressure is the most common cardiovascular disease. Nearly 30% of the adult population suffers from it! And it's called high blood pressure for a reason: Those with hypertension suffer from such extreme force against their artery walls that if left untreated, can cause serious complications including kidney damage, vision loss, memory loss, erectile dysfunction, heart attack, stroke, and more.
What Symptoms Can High Blood Pressure Cause?
It's not difficult -or even uncommon, to have hypertension without realizing it, as early as well as advanced stages can be completely symptom-free. Some people, though, can get headaches, feel dizzy, or be short of breath, but if these symptoms occur, it's usually a sign of extreme hypertension that has reached a life-threatening height. With nearly no symptoms to warn you of hypertension, it's extremely important to get yourself regularly screened for it so that early intervention, the easiest and best possible treatment, can be implemented.
How is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed?
Thankfully, high blood pressure is easy to diagnose. Nearly every routine visit to your doctor will include a blood pressure reading and hypertension is quickly and easily diagnosed if those readings are consistently high (typically over 145 systolic pressure and/or over 85 diastolic pressure although these numbers are lower if you also have diabetes). For this reason, it's important to visit your doctor regularly, especially if you have any known heart conditions or risk factors for cardiovascular disease (namely regular smoking or drinking, high cholesterol, or high stress), have diabetes or a family history of diabetes, or have a family history of high blood pressure. The older you get, the more regular these preventative check-ups should be too, and no less than once per year if you have ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
How Can High Blood Pressure Be Treated?
Treatment for high blood pressure is usually centred around lifestyle changes and careful monitoring. When that doesn't lower blood pressure to a safe level, medication can also be used to keep blood pressure in check. At CardioCare, we can also offer renal artery ablation therapy, a minimally-invasive intervention that targets hypertension with radio-frequency waves to target renal nerves and lower blood pressure.
Keeping your blood pressure in check is an important, but easy way to keep yourself healthy this year. Learn more about hypertension and how Cardiocare Marbella can help you diagnose and treat it here and request your next appointment to check your blood pressure, discuss your risk factors, lifestyle, and preventative care for it with this easy online form.