Alpha Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine & Internal Medicine located in Fayetteville, GA
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous for your heart and other vital organs. It’s not something you should put off another day. At Alpha Internal Medicine in Fayetteville, Georgia, you start learning how to take control of your blood pressure. The area’s leading internal medicine physician, Dr. Betsy Horton, and her team are dedicated to getting you back to good health. If you’re concerned about high blood pressure or need help managing hypertension, call the office today or book your appointment directly online. Flexible appointment options are available for new and returning patients.
High Blood Pressure Q & A
Why is high blood pressure a concern?
With every beat and every pump, your heart pushes blood throughout your body. That’s a big job for one small organ, so you don’t want to stress it out. Normally, your veins and arteries are soft and pliable, making blood flow a seamless process. When your blood pressure is high, it puts pressure on arterial walls. They start hardening from plaque buildup — called atherosclerosis — and lose their flexibility.
Your heart has to push harder to get blood out to your extremities, making your blood pressure even higher. It’s a devastating cycle of problems to your cardiovascular system. High blood pressure can:
- Damage your kidneys
- Increase your risk of stroke
- Make you more vulnerable to suffering from a heart attack
Are there symptoms of high blood pressure?
No. Because high blood pressure doesn’t have any specific symptoms, you might not have any idea that your blood pressure is high. This is why hypertension is often referred to as a “silent killer.” Many patients don’t know their blood pressure is critically high until they have a massive episode, like a stroke or heart attack.
What should my blood pressure be?
It’s best if your blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg. You’re at risk of developing high blood pressure if your numbers start going above that level. Once your blood pressure reads 140/90 mmHg, your doctor likely diagnoses you with high blood pressure and gets you started on a plan to get it back down. Dangerously high blood pressure is having a number above 180/110 mmHg. If your blood pressure ever gets this high, you might need emergency medical treatment.
How is hypertension treated?
Your treatment plan to bring your blood pressure down generally consists of several things, including lifestyle changes. When you sit down with Dr. Horton and the team at Alpha INternal Medicine, you will work together to create a custom plan that fits your lifestyle and needs. Some of the typical high blood pressure treatments include:
- Losing weight
- Avoiding alcohol
- Decreasing your sodium intake
- Getting more fiber
- Exercising regularly
- Taking prescription medications
If you need medication, Dr. Horton finds the one that works best for your needs -- they all work differently. Diuretics, for instance, flush out excess sodium, ultimately reducing your fluid levels and bringing your blood pressure down. Beta blockers make your heart beat with less force, minimizing wear-and-tear on your arteries. Angiotensin medications work to open up your blood vessels and veins, so blood can flow through with less force.
Because so many medications exist and new ones are continuously being introduced to the market, Dr. Horton gathers information about your full medical history -- including a list of other medications -- before making a decision.