High Blood Pressure

Douglas C. Walker, DO, PC

Family Medicine Physician & Med Spa located in Garland, UT

One of the main reasons why it’s important for you to get annual physical exams is to check for health complications that come with no symptoms. High blood pressure is a dangerous condition nicknamed the “silent killer” because most people don’t know they have it until it has begun to damage their body. Douglas Walker, DO, PC, tests your blood pressure at each appointment at his clinic in Garland, Utah, and can help you manage it if necessary. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book your visit online today.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, develops when your blood puts too much force on the walls of your blood vessels. Over time, this weakens your circulatory system and puts stress on your heart. The tissues on the walls of your blood vessels become damaged, putting you at risk for many dangerous conditions and diseases.

Your blood pressure is signified by one number over another. The top number, the systolic reading, indicates the pressure of your blood against your vessel walls as your heart pumps, and the bottom number, the diastolic reading, indicates the pressure between beats. Ideally, your number should read 120/80. Numbers higher than 130/80 indicate that you should make some lifestyle changes to preserve your health.

What causes high blood pressure?

There are many different causes of high blood pressure. If your diet is full of bad cholesterol, the cholesterol builds up on your blood vessel walls in the form of a substance called plaque. Plaque buildup narrows your blood vessels, which raises your blood pressure.

High blood pressure can be a symptom of another disease or condition, called secondary high blood pressure, or it can develop without an identifiable cause over time (primary high blood pressure). Common causes and risk factors for high blood pressure are:

  • Stress
  • Age
  • Kidney disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Lack of exercise
  • Alcohol and tobacco use

Dr. Walker recommends lifestyle changes that can help you keep healthy blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high, he creates a personalized treatment plan to help you manage it.

What are the risks of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure puts you at risk for many serious diseases. If you don’t manage your blood pressure, you’re at a higher risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Kidney failure
  • Blindness
  • Limb amputation

Learning to manage your blood pressure allows you to live a healthy and satisfying lifestyle and, on average, a longer life.

How can I reduce my blood pressure?

Dr. Walker treats high blood pressure with medications that help lower it. He also monitors your blood pressure as often as possible and may send you home with a device to monitor it away from his office.

If he diagnoses you with high cholesterol that contributes to high blood pressure, he may prescribe additional medications to help lower it. He also helps you form a diet and exercise plan to keep your heart healthy.

For help monitoring and managing your high blood pressure, call Dr. Walker or book your appointment online today.