More than 80 million Americans aged 20 and older have hypertension. When left untreated, hypertension increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or premature death. At Valley Internal Medicine Associates in Mission, Texas, Dr. Sathiyaraj George and the team offer diagnoses and treatments for hypertension, as well as high cholesterol. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book a consultation online today.
Hypertension is a chronic condition that occurs when the force of the blood pumping up against the walls of your arteries is consistently high for a prolonged period of time. Hypertension usually develops over many years and occurs gradually.
There’s no cure for hypertension, but with healthy lifestyle changes and preventive measures, it’s possible to keep your numbers in check. This can significantly lower your risk of a heart attack or other serious health problems.
Hypertension doesn’t present any obvious symptoms. That is one of the main reasons doctors call it the “silent killer.” Some people with hypertension experience symptoms such as:
These issues usually don’t arise until hypertension is at a severe or life-threatening state.
Hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol is another chronic condition that affects your heart. Cholesterol plays a crucial role in the production of healthy cells, but too much cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease.
Like hypertension, high cholesterol presents few obvious symptoms. Over time, it can cause fatty deposits to build up in your blood vessels. These deposits grow, negatively affecting blood flow. If a deposit breaks suddenly, it may form a clot, causing a heart attack or stroke.
To diagnose hypertension or hyperlipidemia, your provider conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your lifestyle and symptoms. To determine your blood pressure, he uses an inflatable cuff and pressure-measuring gauge. To determine if you have high cholesterol, you need lab tests, like a complete blood count (CBC) and lipid panel.
A lipid panel is a blood test that measures total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. If necessary, your physician might also order an electrocardiogram (EKG), an echocardiogram, or a cardiovascular stress test to evaluate your heart’s health and overall function.
Treatments for hypertension and hyperlipidemia depend on your condition’s severity and its effect on your quality of life. Usually, the team at Valley Internal Medicine Associates recommends a personable, hands-on approach combined with regular follow-ups.
For example, you might benefit from healthy lifestyle changes like eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing your stress levels, and getting plenty of sleep. If your blood pressure or cholesterol levels remain high, you may need prescription medications like thiazide diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, or statins.
The goal of treatment is to prevent lengthy stays at the hospital or emergency room and improve your overall quality of life. Each patient receives a weekly call from an on-staff nurse that monitors symptoms and provides follow-up care.
If you’re concerned about your risk of hypertension or high cholesterol, schedule an appointment with Valley Internal Medicine Associates. Call the practice to speak with a team member or book a consultation online today.