Why Doctors Call Hypertension a Silent Disease — And How to Spot the Warning Signs

Why Doctors Call Hypertension a Silent Disease — And How to Spot the Warning Signs

When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked?

If it’s been a few years, you need to get to a doctor and have your blood pressure taken as soon as you can.

You may be dealing with hypertension, or high blood pressure, and not know it. In fact, hypertension is known as the “silent killer” because it can go undetected in your body for a long period of time.

If your hypertension remains untreated, it can lead to multiple diseases, many of which can be life-threatening. It’s imperative for your health and well-being to get your blood pressure under control now before it causes any further problems.

Our team here at Physicians Medical Primary Care in San Jose specializes in treating high blood pressure. Here’s what you need to know.

What is high blood pressure?

As your heart pumps blood through your arteries, the blood pushes against the walls of those arteries. The pressure it exerts on the walls is known as your blood pressure. 

Your blood pressure is measured with two numbers (such as 120/80 mm Hg):

The top number, called systolic pressure, is the pressure against the artery walls when your heart beats.

The bottom number, called diastolic pressure, is the pressure against the walls of your arteries when the heart relaxes between beats.

A small increase in either number can lead to hypertension. This condition has no symptoms, so it’s hard to spot. The only way to know you have it is to regularly measure your blood pressure.

The problem comes with the health risks that can occur because of hypertension:

Almost 120 million adults in the US (nearly half of all adults) have hypertension.

What warning signs should you watch out for?

The best way to prevent hypertension is to have your blood pressure taken regularly. This will give you a baseline for your normal blood pressure; if your blood pressure increases compared with these numbers, you’ll know you need to begin treatment.

Other warning signs to watch for include unexplained headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds, flushing, fatigue or confusion, chest pain, and a pounding in your chest, neck, or ears. If you notice these symptoms and have no other explanation, visit your doctor to check for high blood pressure.

What can you do to lower it?

Hypertension is primarily treated at first with lifestyle changes. Eat a healthy diet (including less sodium), exercise regularly, lose weight, stop smoking, limit alcohol, and manage stress.

If these measures don’t provide enough relief, several medications can also treat high blood pressure — make sure to use the medication in conjunction with your other lifestyle changes.

If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, our team at Physicians Medical Primary is glad to help you monitor and treat your blood pressure. To schedule an appointment, call one of our three San Jose-area locatContact Us - Physicians Medical Primary Care: Primary Care Practice San Jose, CAions or use our online schedulers to book an appointment today!

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