Hypertension

Access Healthcare

Direct Primary Care & Family Medicine located in Apex, NC

To say that hypertension is a common problem in the United States would be an understatement — almost half of all adults (103 million) have high blood pressure. If you fall into this group, there’s a lot you can do, starting with finding the right medical care. The team of providers at Access Healthcare, led by board-certified hypertension specialist Dr. Brian Forrest, helps their patients in Apex, North Carolina, get a handle on high blood pressure numbers, allowing them to lead healthy, happy lives long into the future. To learn more, call or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.

Hypertension Q & A

Access Healthcare

What constitutes hypertension?

Your blood pressure reading contains two numbers. The first, or upper number, measures the pressure against your arterial walls when your heart beats (systolic), while the second, or lower, number measures the pressure in between heartbeats (diastolic).

These two numbers give a clear picture of how hard your cardiovascular system is working to deliver oxygen-rich blood throughout your body, and the lower the numbers, the better. Here’s how they break out:

  • Under 120/80 — normal blood pressure
  • 120-129/80 — elevated blood pressure
  • 130-139/80-89 — high blood pressure
  • 140+/90+ — severely high blood pressure

Determining where you fall on this scale is simple enough: You simply have your blood pressure taken by one of the healthcare providers at Access Healthcare.

What causes hypertension?

Hypertension can be either primary or secondary. In the first case, your high blood pressure is the problem, and its cause is unidentifiable.

In the second case, your high blood pressure numbers may stem from another underlying condition, such as:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Kidney issues
  • Adrenal or thyroid problems
  • Certain medications

In either case, it’s important that you do something about elevated numbers because, if left unchecked, hypertension can lead to a host of potentially serious health issues.

What are the health complications of hypertension?

High blood pressure numbers should be taken seriously, because they can cause a number of serious complications, such as:

  • Heart attack
  • Aneurysm
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney problems

This list only touches on the more common complications, but there are many more health issues that can stem from, or be exacerbated by, hypertension, which is why it’s important to seek treatment.

How is hypertension treated?

Though the exact causes of hypertension remain largely unknown, hypertension specialists like Dr. Forrest do understand that there are many factors that put you more at risk of hypertension, including:

  • Age (the older you are, the more prone you are to the condition)
  • Weight problems
  • Inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Race (hypertension is more common among African Americans)
  • Nutrition (too much sodium or too little potassium)

Given that you have some control over many of these risk factors, this is where the doctor starts in treating your hypertension. Through diet, exercise, weight loss, and quitting smoking, you can lower your numbers considerably, allowing your cardiovascular system to function better.

The doctors at Access Healthcare work with you every step of the way to help you regain control over hypertension.

To learn more about hypertension, call Access Healthcare, or use the online scheduling tool.