Hypertension Specialist

Mariposa Medical Associates

Internist located in Smyrna, GA

One in three people in the United States have high blood pressure, a common but potentially dangerous condition that increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. At Mariposa Medical Associates in Smyrna, Georgia, board-certified internist Faye Vargas, MD, and her team of experts can help you manage your blood pressure, or hypertension, and lead a healthy, active lifestyle. For more information, call the team at Mariposa Medical Associates or book an appointment online.

Hypertension Q & A

What is hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious condition in which the force of blood pushing against your artery walls increases for an extended period of time. While it’s normal for your blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day, when it’s high for too long it can cause damage to your heart.

What causes hypertension?

If you have primary hypertension, there’s likely no identifiable cause of your high blood pressure. Primary hypertension tends to develop gradually over time, so it’s important to visit Mariposa Medical Associates routinely for checkups. 

Many people have hypertension that’s caused by an underlying condition. Secondary hypertension occurs suddenly and causes higher blood pressure than its primary counterpart. Some common causes of secondary hypertension include:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Kidney disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea 
  • Birth control pills
  • Decongestants
  • Certain cold medicines
  • Congenital defects of the blood vessels
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Cocaine and amphetamines

You’re at a higher risk of developing hypertension if you are over the age of 65, African American, overweight, chronically stressed, or if you have a family history of high blood pressure.

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

The most common symptoms of high blood pressure are:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating/confusion
  • Blood in urine
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat 
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Pressure in the ears, neck, or chest

Untreated hypertension increases your risk of kidney failure and heart disease. Call your doctor right away if you experience any of the above symptoms.

How is hypertension treated?

There are many ways to treat hypertension, including:

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes can have a significant effect on your overall health if you have hypertension. Some common changes the Mariposa Medical Associates team recommends are:

  • A low-sodium diet
  • 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day
  • Weight loss (if you are overweight)
  • Limiting your alcohol intake
  • Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco

Medication

In many cases, a healthy diet and fitness routine are enough to lower your blood pressure to a healthy level. Unfortunately, lifestyle changes aren’t always enough. 

In that case, Mariposa Medical Associates may recommend one or more of the following medications:

  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)

With help from an experienced, board-certified physician, you can get your blood sugar under control. To schedule an appointment with Mariposa Medical Associates, call or book online today.