NJ Cardiovascular Institute
Kunal Patel, MD, FACC
Board Certified Cardiologist & Varicose Vein Specialist located in Secaucus, Elizabeth, Paramus, and Lakewood, NJ
High blood pressure affects more than 75 million Americans and increases your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. But high blood pressure is a treatable disease. At NJ Cardiovascular Institute in Elizabeth and Secaucus, New Jersey, board-certified cardiologist Kunal Patel, MD, takes a proactive and preventive approach to heart health and can help you take the steps you need to improve your blood pressure and your health. Call the office nearest you today or request an appointment using the online booking tool.
High Blood Pressure Q & A
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is a chronic health condition in which the force of blood against your blood vessel walls is greater than normal. Over time, the excess force damages both your blood vessels and organs, increasing your risk of complications such as:
- Heart attack or stroke
- Heart failure
- Metabolic syndrome
Your risk of complications increases the longer your blood pressure remains elevated.
High blood pressure is very common and tends to develop as you get older. You may be at greater risk if it runs in your family, you’re overweight or obese, or you’re a smoker. An underlying medical condition, such as sleep apnea, can also lead to high blood pressure.
How do I know if I have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer.” Unlike other chronic diseases, you can’t feel when your blood pressure is higher than normal. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get your blood pressure checked regularly, which is why it’s important to get an annual physical exam.
Having a high blood pressure reading one time doesn’t necessarily mean you have hypertension, though. In general, high blood pressure is diagnosed after three elevated blood pressure readings taken on three separate visits to the doctor.
If you have concerns about your blood pressure, you can monitor your numbers with an at-home blood pressure unit or check your blood pressure at a local pharmacy that’s outfitted with a public blood pressure machine.
What are the treatments for high blood pressure?
Dr. Patel focuses on preventive health and may suggest lifestyle changes to help improve your blood pressure numbers. He may recommend:
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Limiting your intake of processed foods and fast food
- Getting more exercise
- Losing weight if you’re overweight or obese
These lifestyle changes not only lower your blood pressure, but may also improve overall heart health.
If your blood pressure remains elevated even after you’ve implemented changes to your routine, Dr. Patel may prescribe medication. The types of medicine you need depend on the severity of your high blood pressure and your medical history.
High blood pressure is common, but you can take steps to get your numbers under control. For medical management of your hypertension from a compassionate cardiologist, contact NJ Cardiovascular Institute by phone or book your visit online today.