High Blood Pressure Specialist

Internal Medicine and Pediatrics of West Michigan -  - Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician

Internal Medicine and Pediatrics of West Michigan

Board Certified Internal Medicine Physicians & Board Certified Pediatricians located in Grand Rapids, MI

High blood pressure is a common condition that affects millions of Americans and can be problematic or even deadly if left untreated. At Internal Medicine and Pediatrics of West Michigan, the team provides blood pressure screenings, lifestyle advice, and prescription medications for managing high blood pressure. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for more than 20 years, the team delivers the essential care you need in a calm and supportive environment. To book an appointment, call the office or use the online scheduling tool today.

High Blood Pressure Q&A

What is high blood pressure?

Your blood pressure is a measurement of the amount of force your blood creates when flowing through your blood vessels. Normal blood pressure is any reading below 120/80 mm Hg. Elevated blood pressure is any reading below 129/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure is any reading above 130/80 mm Hg. At the highest level, a hypertensive crisis is a blood pressure reading of 180/120 mm Hg or higher.

The higher your blood pressure, the greater the amount of force your blood creates inside your blood vessels, which can lead to permanent damage. Long-term high blood pressure and hypertensive crises increase your risk of heart attack and stroke and can be life-threatening.

What causes high blood pressure?

There are a variety of causes of high blood pressure, some of which you’re born with and some that you can prevent with lifestyle changes. 

Things that may predispose you to developing high blood pressure include:

  • Family history
  • Getting older
  • Male gender
  • Being African American
  • Having chronic kidney disease

Under the age of 64, men are more likely than women to have high blood pressure, though, after 64, both men and women have the same amount of risk. To reduce your risk of high blood pressure, you should:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption
  • Decrease your stress levels
  • Get treatment for sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and diabetes

The team provides treatment for chronic diseases that contribute to or exacerbate high blood pressure so you can decrease your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

To diagnose high blood pressure, your provider uses a blood pressure cuff around your arm to quickly take your blood pressure. The test can be repeated multiple times within the same visit or during follow-up visits as needed.

The team understands that visiting the doctor can increase your stress and may cause an increase in your blood pressure, too. If this is a concern for you, talk with the team during your visit so they can screen your blood pressure later during your visit once you’re more relaxed.

How is high blood pressure treated?

Treatment for high blood pressure begins with lifestyle changes, like losing weight or increasing your daily physical activity. If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, the team prescribes medications to lower your blood pressure.

Set up a blood pressure screening today by calling the office or booking an appointment online.