What is High Blood Pressure and What Causes It?
High blood pressure is the amount of force with which your blood is pushing against your artery walls. It is one of the most common issues seen by urgent care Greenville NC physicians and is one of the most common issues seen in the U.S. In fact, high blood pressure affects just under half of all American adults. With so many people afflicted, it is important to understand some of the major causes so you can avoid those same pitfalls, or make changes towards a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, it is incredibly important to know what to look out for so you can make sure to visit your urgent care Greenville NC before it’s too late.
Unfortunately, there are very few noticeable symptoms when it comes to high blood pressure. In some extreme cases, frequent nosebleeds and headaches can occur, but at that point, your blood pressure has likely reached a life-threatening stage. This is why it is vital to have regular doctors’ visits. Whether you go to family doctors Greenville NC or stick to Greenville walk in clinics, making a habit of getting checked is the best way to prevent your blood pressure from becoming a problem. However, you can begin to take your own blood pressure by purchasing a blood pressure cuff or using a blood pressure machine in stores like Walgreens or CVS. You want to make sure the top number, your Systolic Blood Pressure, is less than 120 mmHg and the bottom number, your Diastolic Blood pressure, is less than 80 mmHg. Any values above those two numbers are considered elevated or hypertensive.
If you’re wondering what is causing your blood pressure to reach the elevated and hypertensive ranges, it could be many things. There are many lifestyle decisions that lead and contribute to high blood pressure, but there are also causes that lie beyond your realm of control. Understanding your level of risk is key to maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Lifestyle Risk Factors
These are some of the most common lifestyle risk factors that can play a role in developing high blood pressure:
- High sodium, fat, or cholesterol intake
- Lack of physical activity
- High Stress
- Excessive tobacco use
- Excessive alcohol consumption
All of these factors are things that are easily controlled. You have direct input over how much of these you consume or face on a daily basis. If you have any concerns about how your lifestyle is impacting your blood pressure, it would be a good idea to check with your urgent care Greenville NC doctors about possible next steps.
Non-Lifestyle Risk Factors
Some of the most common risk factors that are impacted by an individual’s lifestyle that are at least partially out of their control or are hard to change include:
- Kidney problems
- Family medical history
- Old age
Unfortunately, making changes in these areas is either impossible or can be more difficult. If you have concerns about any risk factors in this group, it would be best to speak with your urgent care Greenville NC doctor to understand what you can do to mitigate those risks. While it may not be possible to completely avoid them, you can take measures to lessen their impact on your overall health and well-being.
If you’re concerned about high blood pressure, speak with your urgent care Greenville NC doctor at your next scheduled appointment. In general, the first step is to work on any lifestyle adjustments. Beginning to work out more often and eat healthier is a great way to start lowering your blood pressure and this can be aided by blood pressure medications if prescribed by your physician. To schedule an appointment and talk with a doctor about your blood pressure, visit our website!