High Blood Pressure
The heart and vascular specialists at Wake Forest Baptist Health
help manage your blood pressure through their dedication to preventing and
managing cardiovascular disease. We can help you understand risk factors and
show you how to maintain healthy blood pressure with healthy lifestyle changes.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the
walls of your arteries. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can
lead to serious problems including:
Your blood pressure reading measures two numbers, when your heart
beats and when it is at rest. A reading of:
- 119/79 or lower is normal blood pressure
- 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure
Between normal and high blood pressure is prehypertension, which
is 120 to 139 for the top number or 80 to 89 for the bottom number.
Prehypertension means that you may develop high blood pressure, but you can
prevent it with healthy lifestyle changes.
Risk Factors and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
Certain qualities, conditions or habits can make you more likely
to develop high blood pressure, including:
- Overweight or obesity
- Lack of exercise
- Too much salt in your diet
- Not enough potassium in your diet
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Ethnic background: high blood pressure is
more common in African-Americans
- Family history of high blood pressure
You can have high blood pressure for years without knowing it,
because it usually has no signs or symptoms. Rarely, symptoms occur only in
people in hypertensive crisis (extremely high blood pressure of higher than
180/110). These symptoms include:
- Severe headache
- Fatigue or confusion
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
- Pounding in your chest, neck or ears
The best way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is
to have it checked at least every two years, starting at age 18, as part of
your routine checkup.
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
Your physician may detect your high blood pressure during your
regular checkups. At Wake Forest Baptist, we perform further testing to find
the causes of your high blood pressure and to check for possible organ damage.
Among the tests your physician may recommend are:
Learn more about heart and
at Wake Forest.
Managing High Blood Pressure at Wake Forest
The best way to control your blood pressure is to adopt a healthy
lifestyle. We will work with you to get you on the right track with a plan of
action to keep you healthy. We may recommend:
- Regular exercise
- Healthy diet
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting alcohol
- Reducing sodium in your diet
- Lowering stress
Read more about our heart health resources.
an appointment online. Or, for more
information, please call:
- 336-716-WAKE or