One-third of all adults have hypertension or high blood pressure, a dangerous condition that sneaks up on you without causing symptoms. Whether you’re past due for blood pressure screening or you’re already diagnosed with hypertension and need expert management, you’ll receive the care you need from Beata I. Styka, MD, in Palos Heights, Illinois. Dr. Styka has years of experience helping adults of all ages control their blood pressure and live a healthy life. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature.
Hypertension may be caused by an underlying health condition such as kidney disease, but in most cases, it gradually develops over years of following an unhealthy lifestyle.
The lifestyle factors that contribute to hypertension include:
High blood pressure also tends to run in families.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the artery walls. Hypertension increases that force. Over time, the excessive force damages the wall, creating a rough spot that allows cholesterol to attach to the arterial wall.
Cholesterol and other fats slowly accumulate, creating plaque that hardens and narrows the artery, a condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis causes two serious problems.
First, it blocks blood flow, making your heart work harder and damaging tissues that don’t get enough blood. And second, the plaque can rupture, releasing pieces that may cause a heart attack or stroke.
High blood pressure is called a silent disease for good reason: It doesn’t cause symptoms. You won’t develop any signs of a problem until blood flow is significantly blocked and causes chest or leg pain. Many patients don’t experience symptoms until they have a heart attack or stroke.
Dr. Styka begins by recommending lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure. Many patients successfully restore and maintain normal blood pressure by changing their diet, losing weight, and stopping smoking.
Depending on the severity of your hypertension, Dr. Styka may give lifestyle changes time to work or go ahead and prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure.
Several types of medications are available, and each one has a different mechanism of action, so she chooses the one that fits your needs. For example, some medications stop blood vessels from narrowing and others flush excess sodium from your body.
If you have questions about hypertension or you need help keeping your blood pressure under control, call Beata I. Styka, MD, or book an appointment online.