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Hypertension / High Blood Pressure

Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the arteries have persistently elevated blood pressure. Every time the human heart beats, it pumps blood to the whole body through the arteries. The physicians at Phoenix Family Medical Clinic offer treatment and diagnosis plans for patients suffering from hypertension. Through the integration of medicines and life style changes, hypertension can be controlled and eliminated.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing up against the blood vessel walls. The higher the pressure the harder the heart has to pump. Hypertension can lead to damaged organs, as well as several illnesses, such as renal failure (kidney failure), aneurysm, heart failure, stroke, or heart attack. Researchers from UC Davis reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology that high blood pressure during middle age may raise the risk of cognitive decline later in life.

Our belief is that a blood pressure of 120/80 is considered prehypertensive. "Normal" is less than 120/80, and Stage 1 Hypertension is 140/90 and up, while Stage 2 is 160/100 and up.

The only way to tell whether you have high blood pressure is to have it measured with a blood pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer). This device consists of a gauge and a rubber cuff that is placed around your arm and inflated. Having your blood pressure measured is painless and takes just a few minutes.

At Phoenix Family Medical Clinic, your blood pressure is measured at each and every visit, regardless of your complaint that day.

Our physicians may order tests to check for causes of high blood pressure and to assess any organ damage from high blood pressure or its treatment. These tests may include the following:

  • Blood tests including measurement of electrolytes, blood urea, and creatinine levels (to assess kidney involvement). We draw the blood at our in house laboratory
  • Lipid profile for levels of various kinds of cholesterol
  • Special tests for hormones of the adrenal gland or thyroid gland
  • Urine tests for electrolytes and hormones
    • A noninvasive, painless eye examination with an ophthalmoscope will look for ocular damage. Our physicians do this test in house.
    • Ultrasound of the kidneys, CT scan of the abdomen, or both may be done to assess damage or enlargement of the kidneys and adrenal glands.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a noninvasive test that detects the electrical activity of the heart and records it on paper. ECG is helpful for quantifying any damage of the heart muscle, such as heart attack, and/or thickening/hypertrophy of the heart wall/muscle, common complications of high blood pressure. At Phoenix Family Medical Clinic we do ECG test in house and will provide feedback right away to the patient after the physician has read and analyzed the ECG charts.