Sleep Apnea Specialist

Alexandria Aesthetics

Aesthetic Specialist & Internal Medicine located in Alexandria, VA

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading risk factor for heart disease — which is the number one cause of death in the United States. To manage high blood pressure and lengthen your lifespan, internal medicine physician Dr. Kantha Stoll can help. She screens for and treats hypertension for patients at Alexandria Adult Primary Care, located in Alexandria, Virginia. Call to schedule your next blood pressure screening appointment, or book one online today.

Hypertension Q & A

What is hypertension?

If you have hypertension, or high blood pressure, the pressure of blood in your blood vessels is higher than it should be. About one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure, but only half of these people have hypertension under control. High blood pressure is a value of 120/80 mm Hg or higher.

It’s scary to know that high blood pressure often has no symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, you may notice:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds
  • Headaches

Having symptoms from hypertension means it may have already reached a severe (even life-threatening) stage. It’s important to check in with Dr. Stoll if you suspect you have high blood pressure, as it’s a treatable condition.

What are risk factors for hypertension?

You can’t always prevent high blood pressure, but healthy lifestyle habits drastically reduce your risk. Hypertension risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Chronic conditions, such as kidney disease, sleep apnea, and diabetes
  • Stress
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • A diet high in sodium or low in potassium
  • Lack of exercise
  • Family history of hypertension
  • Being of African descent
  • Being age 65 or older

Losing weight if you’re overweight and adding exercise to your regular day-to-day routine significantly lowers blood pressure in many cases.

What is the treatment for hypertension?

If you have high blood pressure, Dr. Stoll finds a solution to keep hypertension in check and reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. She may first recommend lifestyle changes — such as lowering salt in your diet, making other dietary changes, giving up alcohol and smoking, and reducing stress.

Stress reduction techniques you can try at home include massage, spending time outdoors, meditation, yoga, and regular moderate-intensity physical activity. If something in your life is a constant stressor, do the best you can to eliminate it.

Dr. Stoll may prescribe blood pressure-lowering medications if dietary changes and exercise aren’t doing the trick. She lets you know how often to schedule blood pressure screening appointments, and shows you how to monitor blood pressure at home. Call Alexandria Adult Primary Care to make your next appointment, or book one online today.