High blood pressure (HBP) is sometimes called the “silent killer,” because it rarely has noticeable symptoms. Dr. Steven Manning, an experienced family practitioner, measures your blood pressure during each office visit and offers in-office electrocardiograms (EKGs) at AccessMedicine. If you live in the Williamston or Washington, North Carolina area, be sure to test your blood pressure regularly at AccessMedicine and have an EKG if you suspect HBP. Call the friendly AccessMedicine staff, or book your exam online.
High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, is a state in which your blood places too much pressure on your blood vessels. The high force of the pressure of the blood in your vessels can damage them and cause potentially life-threatening conditions, such as:
At every office visit, Dr. Manning has an assistant measure your blood pressure to be sure it’s within normal range. If it’s too high, he may order an EKG to ensure your heart and circulatory system are healthy.
Unfortunately, HBP doesn’t have symptoms. However, if you ever find that you’re short of breath, or notice your heart palpitating or skipping beats, you should contact Dr. Manning for an evaluation, because you may have another underlying condition. Getting a checkup when you experience unusual symptoms is part of your direct primary care prescription.
When your AccessMedicine specialist checks your blood pressure, they’re looking at two measurements: systolic pressure (how much pressure is in your blood vessels when your heart pumps) and diastolic pressure (how much pressure is in your vessels when your heart is between pumps).
Your blood pressure is normal when your systolic rate is less than 120 mmHg and your diastolic rate is less than 80 mmHg. If your pressures are higher, then you may either be prehypertensive or have Stage 1 or 2 HBP. In these cases, Dr. Manning may order an EKG.
An EKG is a simple test that Dr. Manning performs at AccessMedicine. A technician attaches electrodes to your skin and then Dr. Manning measures the electrical activity of your heart. An EKG helps him identify abnormalities such as irregular heart rhythms, a thickened heart muscle, or evidence of a prior heart attack.
If you have HBP, Dr. Manning may first recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthier foods, avoiding salt, and getting more exercise. If your blood pressure is dangerously high, he may also recommend medications to take the stress off your blood vessels.
Don’t neglect your annual exam. Contact AccessMedicine for a blood pressure test by scheduling an appointment online or calling the friendly office staff.