Victor Carabello, MD
Nephrologist & Internal Medicine located in East Los Angeles, CA
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called a “silent killer” because it progresses slowly and without obvious symptoms, causing serious damage to your circulatory system along the way. At Carabello Kidney in East Los Angeles, California, dual board-certified nephrologist and internist Victor Carabello, MD, offers a full scope of treatment options to help you manage this chronic condition and protect your health. Call the office or book an appointment online today.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is the medical term for chronically high blood pressure, a serious disease that occurs when your blood pushes against the walls of your arteries with more force than normal. Because hypertension doesn’t cause symptoms, regular blood pressure screenings are a vital part of routine preventive health care.
A blood pressure reading provides two measurements. The first number is systolic pressure, representing the force your blood exerts on your arteries when your heart beats; the second number is diastolic pressure, or the force your blood exerts on your arteries as your heart rests between each beat.
A blood pressure reading at or below 119/79 is normal, while a reading that falls between 120/80 and 129/80 is considered elevated. Having consistent readings at or above 130/80 indicates stage one hypertension; stage two hypertension begins when blood pressure hits 140/90.
How common is hypertension?
Hypertension affects about 116 million people — or nearly half of all adults — in the United States. Millions more live with prehypertension, or persistently elevated blood pressure levels that eventually lead to hypertension without treatment.
Many people with hypertension aren’t aware that they have it, and only 1 in 4 people with the condition have it under control.
Am I at risk of hypertension?
Hypertension can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from dietary and medication side effects to lifestyle and age. Factors that make you more susceptible to developing the condition include:
- Being middle-aged or older
- Family history of hypertension
- Being overweight or obese
- Being Black (non-Hispanic)
Eating a sodium-rich diet, smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, lack of exercise, and chronic stress are controllable lifestyle factors that can contribute to the development of hypertension.
Why is treatment so important?
Hypertension is a silent disease because you can live with it for years without experiencing symptoms. All the while, it damages your circulatory system and increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, or of developing a serious chronic illness like heart disease or kidney disease.
Once it’s diagnosed, hypertension is a highly treatable problem that can be managed with the right care approach. Depending on its underlying cause and overall severity, treatment may include:
- Switching to a heart-healthy diet
- Becoming more physically active
- Reaching a healthier body weight
- Quitting smoking and/or limiting alcohol
- Controlling daily stress levels
- Taking blood pressure medications
To learn how you can keep your blood pressure in check, call Carabello Kidney or schedule an appointment online today.