Around 75 million Americans have high blood pressure, although many don’t know their health is at risk because the condition doesn’t often cause noticeable symptoms. Elson Haas, MD and the team at Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California, provide an integrative approach to reducing high blood pressure. They create customized treatment plans that combine lifestyle modifications, natural and integrative therapies, and when necessary, prescription medication. Call the office to make an appointment today.
Your blood pressure is the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels as it moves through your body. Your blood pressure is measured with two numbers, which represent your systolic pressure when your heart beats, and your diastolic pressure when your heart rests between beats. It’s written as systolic over diastolic, for example, 120/80 mm Hg, where the “mm Hg” stands for millimeters of mercury.
Healthy blood pressure is 120/80 or lower. Any readings higher than this are considered elevated, and you can be diagnosed with stage 1 hypertension when your blood pressure reaches even 130/80.
High blood pressure is often referred to as a “silent killer” because people don’t usually experience any symptoms or warning signs before they experience a critical health event, such as a heart attack or stroke. Having regular blood pressure screenings is the best way to monitor your cardiovascular health and catch this preventable condition in its early stages.
While your genetics and family medical history contribute to your risk of high blood pressure, your lifestyle is the primary contributing factor to the disease. For example, if you smoke, are overweight, or eat a diet high in fat and salt, you significantly increase your risk of high blood pressure. African Americans are at greater risk for hypertension.
At each visit, whether it is your annual physical exam or a wellness check-up, the team at Preventive Health Medical Center of Marin will provide blood pressure screenings (as should be at most all doctor visits). If your blood pressure has increased since your last visit, we may recommend additional testing at different times of the day to determine if your blood pressure is consistently high or the effects of stress, caffeine and other factors. Also, advanced cardiovascular testing may be suggested to identify other heart health issues.
Dr. Haas and his team take a natural and integrative approach to blood pressure management. After your diagnosis, we work with you to implement lifestyle changes to enhance your health and reduce your blood pressure with the least amount of anti-hypertensive medications.
For example, we help you adjust your diet to reduce certain foods containing fats, salt, and sugar as needed to reduce body weight. Your health practitioner also helps you add more physical activity to your daily routine and offers tobacco cessation services. You may also benefit from mind-body therapies to reduce stress.
If lifestyle adjustments and natural therapies don’t lower your numbers enough, Dr. Haas can prescribe or adjust medications to regulate your blood pressure. Ideally, you’ll continue to make lifestyle changes and get to a point where you don’t have to rely on medicine.
If you’re concerned about high blood pressure, call the office for a consultation today. Also, if you are already diagnosed with hypertension and are on medicines, PMCM can help you reduce your meds and BP and at the same time, improve your overall health.