Pierre Physician Group
Internal Medicine located in Downtown Houston, TX
High blood pressure leads to more than 410,000 deaths each year, but only about half of Americans have this serious condition under control. At Pierre Physician Group, Mariette Pierre, MD, provides a wide variety of internal medicine services to help men and women in the Houston area manage and prevent serious health conditions, like high blood pressure. To protect your heart against high blood pressure, call Pierre Physician Group or schedule an appointment online today.
High Blood Pressure Q & A
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is commonly referred to as “the silent killer” because it usually doesn’t have warning signs until damage occurs.
When your heart pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout your body, it applies pressure against the inside of your arteries. This is called blood pressure. When this pressure remains elevated for an extended period, you have high blood pressure. This condition can lead to serious health complications.
Having high blood pressure forces your blood vessels and heart to work harder and less efficiently than they would under healthy conditions. If left untreated, the stress exerted against the inside of your arteries can lead to tissue damage and plaque buildup. As damage and plaque accumulate, your arteries grow more narrow and force your heart to work even harder.
What are the risks of high blood pressure?
High blood pressure can cause serious damage to both your blood vessels and other organs in your body. Common health complications caused by high blood pressure include:
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Cognitive issues
- Vision loss
- Metabolic syndrome
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
Untreated high blood pressure can also narrow or weaken blood vessels in your kidneys.
What causes high blood pressure?
There are two forms of high blood pressure: essential (primary) hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary high blood pressure usually happens slowly over time, while secondary hypertension comes on suddenly because of another health condition.
Common causes of primary high blood pressure include:
- Family history
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Being overweight or obese
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Diets high in sodium and low in potassium and vitamin D
Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, can also increase your chances of having high blood pressure.
How is high blood pressure diagnosed and managed?
Dr. Pierre can check your blood pressure during a routine physical at Pierre Physician Group.
After applying a blood pressure cuff to your arm, she measures your systolic and diastolic pressures. Your systolic pressure checks the force of your heart each time it pumps. Diastolic pressure measures your heart while it rests between beats.
If your blood pressure is high or elevated above normal, Dr. Pierre works with you to determine the best course of treatment. High blood pressure management typically includes lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, medication, and regular blood pressure checks to monitor your condition.
Call Pierre Physician Group or schedule an appointment online today.