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Hypertension

Kadie E. Leach, MD -  - Internal Medicine

Kadie E. Leach, MD

Internal Medicine located in Lanham, MD

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major heart disease risk factor. Dr. Kadie Leach is an experienced internal medicine physical based in Lahham, Maryland, who screens for and treats hypertension before serious complications arise. Call Dr. Leach’s office to learn more, or book an appointment online today.

Hypertension Q & A

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure, which is a leading contributor to heart disease. Since there are often no early symptoms of hypertension, this heart disease risk factor is very serious. This is why blood pressure screening is crucial.

High blood pressure may have already reached a severe stage if you do experience symptoms, which may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds

What are the risk factors for high blood pressure?

Sometimes you can’t prevent high blood pressure from developing, but certain lifestyle choices increase or decrease your risk. High blood pressure risk factors include:

  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Too much sodium in your diet
  • Too little potassium in your diet
  • Older age
  • African heritage
  • Being sedentary
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Using tobacco products or excessive alcohol consumption
  • Having diabetes, kidney disease, or sleep apnea
  • High stress levels

How is hypertension diagnosed?

Dr. Leach checks your blood pressure during each appointment, and diagnoses you with hypertension if your levels are high. An optimal blood pressure value is less than 120/80, at which point your risk for heart disease and other chronic health conditions is significantly lowered.

If you have hypertension, an echocardiogram helps detect problems with your heart and early signs of heart disease.

What are the treatments for hypertension?

If your blood pressure numbers are high, Dr. Leach discusses a treatment that best fits your needs, and recommends the least invasive option first.

Lifestyle changes are often effective for lowering high blood pressure without the need for medication. If you’re overweight, weight loss can help. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, limiting sodium, and avoiding tobacco and excess alcohol are other strategies for lowering blood pressure. If lifestyle changes don’t do the trick, taking certain medications can help.

How often should I schedule a screening for hypertension?

Dr. Leach lets you know how often to schedule an appointment for blood pressure screening based on how high your numbers are. She may also recommend ways for you to check your blood pressure at home.

When you’re ready to schedule a wellness check or blood pressure screening, call Dr. Leach today or book an appointment online.