Chicago

Hypertension / High Blood Pressure Treatment

High blood pressure is a common condition, but it can have a big impact on your health and have serious consequences if it's not treated. Also known as hypertension, it happens when the force of blood pressing against the walls of your arteries is too high. If this goes on too long without treatment, it can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and can cause damage to organs.

Our team of trained health care professionals at all of our Chicago offices are able to help diagnose and treat hypertension.

What causes high blood pressure?

The root causes of hypertension are not clearly known, but genetics definitely seems to play a part. If your parents or siblings have high blood pressure, you're more likely to develop it too. People also tend to develop high blood pressure as they age, and while not everyone will ultimately have hypertension, it's important to monitor your blood pressure as you get older. You're also more likely to get it if you're obese, smoke, are sedentary, or eat a diet high in sodium.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

It's rare for people with hypertension to actually have symptoms, so even if your numbers are off the charts, you may not feel anything strange. That's why it's so important to monitor your blood pressure. Depending on your situation, you may want to make an appointment with your provider to discuss your risk factors and establish a baseline so they can keep an eye on your blood pressure.

How do you test for hypertension?

Your provider will often measure your blood pressure as a part of your regular, routine appointments. Every blood pressure measurement consists of two numbers: the first number (your systolic pressure) is the peak in pressure generated by each beat of your heart, and the second, lower number — the diastolic pressure — is the pressure between heartbeats.

Is my blood pressure normal?

Here’s how we interpret the results:

Normal blood pressure:

  • Systolic pressure < 120
  • Diastolic pressure < 80

Prehypertension (at risk for hypertension):

  • Systolic pressure of 120 – 139, or
  • Diastolic pressure of 80 - 89

Hypertension:

  • Systolic pressure of 140 or higher, or
  • Diastolic pressure of 90 or higher

What's the treatment?

Lifestyle changes are always the starting point when it comes to hypertension treatment. Some of the most important steps you can take in managing your blood pressure:

  • Get regular aerobic activity - aim for at least 20 minutes of heart-pounding exercise three times a week
  • Avoid extra salt in your diet and be sure to eat foods that are rich in potassium
  • If you smoke, quit
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation
  • Reduce stress by getting enough sleep, exercise, and relaxing activities like meditation
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Sometimes lifestyle modification alone doesn't do the trick, and your provider might need to prescribe medication to keep your blood pressure in a safe range. But know that hypertension doesn't go away on its own and medication only controls it; it's not a cure. That's why the right lifestyle is so important to keep your blood pressure - and the rest of you - in the healthiest place possible.

How do I make an appointment?

One Medical is a membership-based practice that combines the highest level of care with exceptional services. Members support our practice by paying a low annual membership fee of just $199, which provides a full year of access to all of our urgent and primary care services. If you’re ever unhappy with our service, let us know and we’ll refund your current year membership fee.

It takes less than five minutes to join online, and once you sign up, you can book your first appointment online, on the phone, or on our app.

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Questions? Call 312-999-5512.

Risk Factors for Hypertension

  • Family history
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco use
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High-sodium diet