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High blood pressure (hypertension)

Our UF Health Jacksonville primary care physicians are experienced at diagnosing and treating high blood pressure, a common condition also known as hypertension. You can be assured that they will work with you to identify what might be causing your high blood pressure and create an effective treatment plan. If needed, you will also have access to one of our expert cardiologists, who are specialists in the area of heart disease prevention.

What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?

Your heart is continually pumping blood into your arteries creating a force known as blood pressure. When that force is consistently too strong, there can be damage to the heart and the walls of the arteries over time. Once you realize you have high blood pressure, you can effectively manage it.

Left untreated, however, high blood pressure can put you at higher risk for certain dangerous health conditions, such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney disease.

High blood pressure: Diagnosis

High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer” because there are rarely any symptoms.

  • You may not realize anything is wrong until your blood pressure is checked during a routine visit to the doctor.
  • The instrument used to check blood pressure measures two things: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic represents the force when the heart is pumping; diastolic the force when the heart is at rest.
  • Taken together, the systolic over the diastolic, provides a reading for your physician. The reading is normally spoken as one number “over” another. Thus, normal is considered “120 over 80”; high as “140 over 90."
  • These numbers serve only as guidelines, and your physician would want the test repeated over several days or weeks and also would consider other factors before making a diagnosis.

High blood pressure: Treatment

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your UF Health Jacksonville doctor may recommend lifestyle changes. These might include a change in diet to reduce fat and salt, regular exercise, weight loss and smoking cessation. In addition, your treatment plan may include medication. Our physicians have helped many people successfully manage their high blood pressure, and they will work with you to find the strategy that provides you with the best possible outcome.

What is complex hypertension?

Complex hypertension is elevated blood pressure that requires four or more medications for control, or elevated blood pressure found in the presence of kidney failure. The evaluation for complex hypertension is performed in one of our outpatient nephrology clinics. The physicians of UF Health Nephrology Jacksonville specialize in the diagnosis and therapy of kidney diseases and are experts at evaluating complex hypertension as well as other kidney-related conditions.

Related conditions & treatments

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