James E Race MD
Internists located in Dallas, TX
Dr. James E. Race M.D. specializes in internal medicine, a discipline that makes him one of the best choices for Dallas, Texas residents worried about diagnoses and treatment of hypertension.
Hypertension Q & A
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. This is a common condition related to an increase of the force as blood hits the walls of the arteries. When the pressure rises, it may eventually cause damage and lead to chronic heart problems. It is often called the silent killer because patients have it without knowing. There are few symptoms associated with this condition.
What Causes Hypertension?
It’s not clear why many adults develop primary hypertension as they get older, but are specific risk factors including:
- Age – A person’s risk of developing hypertension rises as they get older. Men tend to present with it in middle age while for women, the risk increases after age 65
- Race – Hypertension tends to affect blacks more than any other race
- Family history
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excess salt in diet
- Too little potassium or vitamin D in diet
- Excessive alcohol
- Chronic illnesses such as diabetes or kidney disease
How is Hypertension Treated?
The treatment plan varies based on a number of factors. If the patient is obese, the plan would include weight management and exercise, for example. If there is an underlying illness causing hypertension, the doctor will treat that illness as well as the high blood pressure.
Often, drug therapy is part of the overall treatment, especially for primary hypertension. Therapeutic options include:
- Diuretics – Reduce blood volume by lowering water volume
- Beta blockers – Reduce the stress on the heart
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers – Relax blood vessels to lower the pressure
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors – Relax blood vessels to lower the pressure
- Calcium channel blockers – Relax the muscles in the walls of the blood vessels
- Renin inhibitors – Slow the production of an enzyme that increases the blood pressure
The exact care plan may include one or more of these drugs along with a sensible, low-salt diet and an exercise plan.