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High Blood Pressure Specialist

South Mountain Cardiology

Cardiology located in Tempe, AZ

Half of all adults have high blood pressure, a condition that puts them on the path to serious cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, heart attacks, and strokes. At South Mountain Cardiology, Nadeem Husain, MD, FACC, Patti Cox, MSN, ARNP, and Kim Munneke, MSN, FNP-C, have more than 50 years of combined experience treating patients with high blood pressure, including hard-to-treat, difficult cases of hypertension. If you need expert care for high blood pressure, call the office in Tempe, Arizona, or book an appointment online today.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What causes high blood pressure?

As blood flows through your arteries, it pushes against the blood vessel’s wall. The amount of force placed on the wall is your blood pressure.

Blood pressure needs to stay within a certain range. If it exceeds the top range, you have high blood pressure. The excessive force of high blood pressure damages artery walls and leads to cardiovascular disease.

High blood pressure most often develops over many years of unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not getting regular exercise
  • Consuming too much salt
  • Living with constant stress
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking too much alcohol 

Chronic health conditions such as kidney disease, thyroid disease, and obstructive sleep apnea also cause high blood pressure. 

How does high blood pressure affect my health?

Cholesterol sticks to the damaged areas in the arterial wall. Without treatment, the fatty plaque enlarges and hardens. The plaque buildup, a condition called atherosclerosis, gets large enough to restrict blood flow in the artery.

Atherosclerosis can occur in any artery, causing: 

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • Chronic kidney disease

These conditions increase your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

What symptoms develop if I have high blood pressure?

High blood pressure doesn’t cause symptoms. You can have the condition for decades without knowing you have a serious health condition. However, symptoms gradually appear as the plaque gets large enough to limit circulation.

The symptoms depend on the location of the plaque. For example, peripheral artery disease typically causes leg pain, while coronary artery disease leads to chest pain.

How is high blood pressure treated?

If you receive a high blood pressure diagnosis at an early stage, changes in your diet may be enough to get your blood pressure back to normal. 

If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight has a big impact. Carrying extra weight makes your heart work harder, which, in turn, increases your blood pressure.

If your hypertension doesn’t improve with lifestyle changes, your provider prescribes medications to lower your blood pressure. It’s also essential to get rid of fatty plaque and restore normal circulation with a minimally invasive procedure: angioplasty and stenting.

South Mountain Cardiology also offers enrollment in an ambulatory blood pressure clinic. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring uses a device that continuously measures your blood pressure for 24 hours. 

Whether it’s time to have your blood pressure checked or you need ongoing management for high blood pressure, call South Mountain Cardiology or request an appointment online today.