High blood pressure usually doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms. If you don’t get regular checkups, you can have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. During that time, the pressure damages blood vessels, then cholesterol traveling through the bloodstream gets stuck on the damaged areas. Over time, the cholesterol builds up, the artery hardens in that spot, and it begins to block the flow of blood.
High blood pressure increases your risk for a heart attack or stroke, either by restricting blood flow or when a piece of the cholesterol plaque breaks off. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder to pump blood through blocked vessels, increasing the risk of heart failure. Finally, high blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure because it damages the small blood vessels that are needed for kidneys to work.
A family history of high blood pressure increases the chance that you’ll develop the same health problem. But in most cases, high blood pressure gradually develops due to:
Age is an important risk factor because aging naturally affects the heart and blood vessels, and it also allows time for high blood pressure to develop from lifestyle habits. In a small number of people, high blood pressure is caused by an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid disorder, or an adrenal gland disorder.
Once you have high blood pressure, you’ll have to manage it for the rest of your life to be sure it stays under control. Dr. Willis is here to support your health with regular checkups and by developing a plan tailored to meet your needs. Depending on your health, your plan may include:
Healthy diet. The majority of Americans consume too much salt and not enough potassium, so Dr. Willis will help you learn how to plan a balanced diet to correct that problem.
Weight loss. If you’re overweight, losing extra pounds will have a significant impact by lowering blood pressure.
Exercise. Getting regular exercise helps lower blood pressure and maintain weight.
Antihypertensive medications. While changing lifestyle factors is always the first treatment, Dr. Willis will prescribe medication if needed, carefully selecting the one that’s best for your health needs.
We work with the majority of health insurance plans. Please call our office if you do not see yours listed or have any other questions.
"I feel that she goes above and beyond to make sure I get to see the specialist that I need where as other Dr. brushed things off because of my age."
"I would and have recommended family and friends to Dr. Willis. She is very thorough and she is caring. I love having her as my PCP."
"Dr Willis was my doctor for 5 years before I moved back to Ohio, she was always there for me and always took all the time needed for my care , she is one of the best !!"