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Springridge Medical Clinic

Shinita Dudley, MD

Addiction Medicine & Board Certified Family Medicine located in Clinton, MS

Hypertension is one of the most common cardiovascular health problems worldwide, but it often doesn’t present obvious symptoms. Left unmanaged, hypertension increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. Shinita Dudley, MD, at SpringRidge Medical Clinic in Clinton, Mississippi, regularly works with patients to diagnose and manage hypertension. If you’re concerned about your risk, make an appointment by calling the office or by clicking the online booking tool today.

Hypertension Q & A

What is hypertension?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition that occurs when the force of the blood pumping against the walls of your arteries is consistently too high. Doctors refer to hypertension as the “silent killer” because it usually doesn’t present any symptoms. As a result, millions of Americans are living with hypertension and don’t even realize it. 

Hypertension usually develops slowly, over an extended period of time. In fact, almost everyone develops hypertension eventually. Fortunately, with healthy lifestyle changes and medication, it’s possible to control high blood pressure and to live a healthy, happy life. 

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure typically doesn’t present any obvious symptoms. Some people with critically high blood pressure experience nosebleeds, headaches, and shortness of breath, but these symptoms usually don’t occur until the condition is severe or life-threatening. 

Because high blood pressure doesn’t present symptoms, it’s important to check your numbers at least every two years. Dr. Dudley always checks blood pressure during wellness exams and can alert you to a potential problem early on.

Am I at risk of hypertension?

Hypertension affects people of all ages and genders, but there are certain factors that may increase your risk, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Being middle-aged or older
  • A family history of high blood pressure
  • Using tobacco products
  • Eating a diet that’s rich in salt

You’re also more likely to develop hypertension if you live a sedentary lifestyle and fail to exercise on a regular basis. 

What factors lead to a hypertension diagnosis?  

To diagnose hypertension, Dr. Dudley places an inflatable cuff around your arm and documents your blood pressure levels with a pressure-measuring gauge. A blood pressure reading has two different numbers. The upper number, or systolic pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number, or diastolic pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries between beats. Ideally, your blood pressure should sit at 120/80 mm Hg or lower. 

What does hypertension treatment depend on?

Treatment for hypertension depends on the severity of your condition. If your blood pressure is only slightly elevated, Dr. Dudley might recommend healthy lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising, or eating a healthier diet. In more serious cases, she might recommend lifestyle changes in coordination with prescription medications. 

Hypertension is a serious health problem. If you’re concerned about your risk, make an appointment at SpringRidge Medical Clinic by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.