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Rhode Island Medicine

Internal Medicine located in Woonsocket, RI & Pawtucket, RI

About 1 in every 3 adults in the United States has hypertension, and many don’t even know it. Skilled internist Irfan Ahmad, MD, at Rhode Island Medicine diagnoses and helps you manage hypertension with lifestyle changes and medication so you prevent complications that often develop with the condition. Call one of the offices in Woonsocket or Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to set up your appointment or use the online tool to schedule.

Hypertension Q & A

How do I know if I have hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is diagnosed when your blood pumps too strongly against the walls of your arteries. High blood pressure causes stress on your body and can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or other health problems if not managed.

Hypertension doesn’t cause any symptoms, however, so the only way to know you have it is to get regularly screened. If your readings are consistently higher than 120/80 mm Hg, you’re at risk of developing hypertension. Readings above 130/80 mm Hg at three consecutive visits indicate you have hypertension. 

Am I at risk of developing hypertension?

Hypertension risk increases as you get older. Other factors that contribute to the likelihood that you’ll develop the condition include:

  • A family history
  • Being overweight or obese
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive stress
  • Too much sodium and too little potassium in your diet

High blood pressure also commonly develops for those with diabetes. If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

What complications are associated with hypertension?

Managing hypertension is essential. Without proper regulation, hypertension can lead to:

  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Kidney problems
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Heart failure
  • Dementia

The longer you go without hypertension management, the higher your blood pressure will rise and the more likely it will be that you experience damage to your organs.

How is hypertension treated?

Lifestyle changes and medication can help you manage your blood pressure numbers and prevent complications. The team at Rhode Island Medicine suggests weight loss (if you’re overweight), a heart-healthy diet with less sodium, and regular physical activity as ways to improve hypertension.

The type of medication you’re prescribed to help lower high blood pressure depends on the severity of your hypertension and other health factors. Even if you go on medication, you still benefit from adjusting your lifestyle to support healthier blood pressure levels. 

Schedule your appointment to have your blood pressure evaluated today. Call Rhode Island Medicine or use the online tool to request a visit.