Woodlands Heart and Vascular Institute
Cardiologist & Interventional Cardiologist located in The Woodlands, TX
Hypertension is prevalent in Texas, affecting almost one-third of all adults in the state. Without proper control, hypertension increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. At Woodlands Heart and Vascular Institute in The Woodlands, Texas, Laura Fernandes MD, FACC, is a cardiologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating hypertension. To schedule an examination, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Hypertension Q & A
What is hypertension?
Also called high blood pressure, hypertension is a common chronic health condition in which the force of blood against your blood vessel walls is greater than it should be.
Over time, the excessive force damages the blood vessels and increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The elevation in your blood pressure also damages vital organs, leading to heart or kidney disease.
What causes hypertension?
Hypertension is very common and often develops without a known cause. This is referred to as primary hypertension.
Despite the lack of a known trigger for hypertension, you may be at risk if the condition runs in your family, you’re overweight or obese, or you’re a smoker. An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are also risk factors.
Hypertension develops in some people due to an underlying health condition. This is called secondary hypertension. Chronic health conditions that may cause an increase in your blood pressure include sleep apnea, kidney problems, and congenital heart defects.
How do I know if I have hypertension?
Unlike other chronic conditions, hypertension doesn’t cause symptoms. The only way to know if your blood pressure is higher than normal is to have Dr. Fernandes check your blood pressure.
If Dr. Fernandes notices that your blood pressure is higher than it should be, she may suggest you monitor your blood pressure at home. She may also suggest a few diet and lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing hypertension.
One elevated blood pressure reading doesn’t mean you have hypertension. For a diagnosis, Dr. Fernandes may require three abnormal blood pressure readings at three separate office visits.
What are the treatments for hypertension?
Treatment for hypertension may depend on your blood pressure numbers and whether other organs have been damaged. In most cases, Dr. Fernandes may suggest lifestyle changes to treat your hypertension, such as:
- Limiting processed and salty foods
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Getting regular exercise
- Stopping smoking
- Adding activities to help you manage stress
Losing weight can also help lower your blood pressure if you’re overweight or obese.
If your hypertension doesn’t improve with lifestyle changes, Dr. Fernandes may prescribe hypertension medication.
For expert care for managing your hypertension, contact Woodlands Heart and Vascular Institute by phone, or book an appointment online today.