Posts Tagged ‘hypertension’

What Can You Do to Fight High Blood Pressure?

hypertensionDid you know that over 30% of adults (over the age of 20) have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension?* Did you also know that high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease? The good news is that high blood pressure can be prevented if you educate yourself and take the recommended course of action from your physician.

What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
Blood pressure is the amount of the blood force against the arterial walls. The upper number is the pressure when the heart is contracting and the lower number is when the heart is at rest.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when one or both numbers are elevated. Normally it should be under 140/90 mmHg, and anything above this is considered elevated.

What are the symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
Many people think that you can tell if you have high blood pressure by experiencing symptoms like headache, nose bleeds or chest pains, but the reality is that hypertension is a symptomless disease. When blood pressure is elevated and is not treated, you heart, brain and kidneys can suffer the consequences and you do not know it.

Get checked for High Blood Pressure
Everyone should know what their blood pressure numbers are and get treated if elevated or prevent it from being elevated. Factors like age, obesity, family history, increased salt consumption, medications, lack of exercise, alcohol, drugs, renal disease and hormonal abnormalities can contribute to the development of high blood pressure.

What can I do to prevent high blood pressure?

  1. Reduce salt (sodium) intake – Salt is known to retain water and increase blood pressure and the United States is considered a society that consumes a high salt diet. Most of the salt we eat comes from processed and packed foods. The recommendation is to consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day, to get an idea a teaspoon of salt has 2,400 mg of sodium!
  2. Consume Potassium – Potassium counterbalances the effects of sodium, at least 4,700 mg daily is advised. Some of the foods rich in potassium are potatoes, greens, bananas, tomatoes and oranges. Patients with renal disease should discuss with their doctors about their potassium intake.
  3. Limit alcohol consumption – Men should limit their alcohol intake to 2 drinks per day and women to 1 drink daily.
  4. Exercise! Exercise! Do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity to keep your circulation, lungs and heart healthy.

If despite of trying your best to prevent hypertension your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor can work with you to find an appropriate medical regimen to control it. Medications that help your body eliminating the sodium excess, retaining potassium or relaxing your blood vessels can be prescribed to you. Together with diet and exercise, medications can control hypertension and prevent heart attacks and strokes.

To learn more about ways to prevent and treat hypertension, join us at the Community Education Series sponsored by the Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna, 3949 South Cobb Drive Smyrna, GA 30080. The event will take place  on Wednesday June 18th, 2014 at 7:00 pm. To find out more, visit https://www.emoryadventist.org/education-events.

*Centers for Disease Control

About Dr. Gongora

Carolina Gongora, MDDr. Gongora is a Board certified cardiologist at the Emory Heart and Vascular Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Gongora currently sees clinical patients at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Midtown and Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Smyrna. To schedule a general preventive cardiology consult please call 404-778-7777.
Dr Gongora went to medical school in Bogotá, Colombia, where she is from originally. She moved to Atlanta in 2005. Before starting her training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Emory University, Dr Gongora did a post doctoral research fellowship in hypertension and renal disease. Her research was partially funded by the American Heart Association.

During this time she published in recognized journals like the Journal of American College of Cardiology, Hypertension and Circulation. Also, she presented in nationally renowned meetings, like the American Heart Association, the American Society of Hypertension and the American Physiology Society meetings, among others. She has been a member of the American College of Cardiology, the American Physiological Society and the American Heart Association-Council for high blood pressure.

She is board certified in Cardiology, Internal Medicine and Echocardiography.

Related Links

Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Smyrna
Emory Women’s Heart Center
Manage Your Blood Pressure & Keep Your Heart Healthy
Emory Explores New Treatment Option to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Emory Explores New Treatment Option to Reduce High Blood Pressure

heart-stethoscopeAbout, 10-20 percent of high blood pressure, or hypertension, patients cannot control their symptoms with medication. A new experimental procedure, The SYMPLICITY HTN-3 Blood Pressure trail, is being conducted to help these patients drop their blood pressure an average of 30 points.

Dr. Chandan Devireddy recently reported to Fox 5 Atlanta that approximately 40 percent of people with treatment-resistant hypertension experience surges of adrenaline, signaling the kidneys to ramp up blood pressure. For these patients—who can’t control their blood pressure no matter how many medications they’re taking—Dr. Devireddy and his team are exploring a new treatment option. Because Dr. Devireddy has identified the kidneys as a potential source of the problem in treatment-resistant hypertension patients, the study will evaluate how hypertension among these patients is affected by delivering radio frequency energy to the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. The goal of the procedure is to diminish or cease the excess adrenaline being delivered to the kidneys, thereby reducing blood pressure.

The study’s procedure, which will be conducted at Emory University Hospital Midtown, is recruiting 20 volunteers. Candidates for the study are those with long-term high blood pressure that hasn’t responded to treatment from at least three medications.

“The SYMPLICITY HTN-3 Blood Pressure study is double-blinded, so half of the volunteers will get the investigational procedure; half will get a so-called “sham” procedure. Researchers and participants won’t know who got what until it’s over,” says Dr. Devireddy.

Read more about the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 Blood Pressure trial being conducted at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

 

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Is Your High Blood Pressure Out of Control?

High Blood Pressure Web ChatDo you have uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure) and need another option for your care?

If so, the Emory Heart & Vascular Center is now enrolling patients in a study for this condition. Called the Symplicity HTN – 3 Study, this clinical research study will test the safety and effectiveness of a procedure called renal denervation using the Symplicty Catheter System as a treatment for uncontrolled hypertension. You may be eligible to participate in the research if you are between the ages of 18 and 80, you have an average systolic blood pressure (SBP) > to 160mmHg and you are taking three or more antihypertensive medications. Chandan Devireddy, MD, FACC, FSCAI is the principle investigator in the trial at Emory.

For more information about the clinical trial, please contact Emory HealthConnection 404-778-7777.

CAUTION: Investigational device. Limited by Federal (United States) law to investigational use.

If you have high blood pressure and want to learn more about what you can do to manage it, join us tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. for a chat on hypertension with Dr. Susmita Parashar. Visit Emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats to register and see a complete listing of Emory Healthcare’s live chats.

High Blood Pressure Related Resources:

Talk to an MD About Your Blood Pressure – No Appointment!

 

Do you suffer from high blood pressure and want to ask a physician questions without scheduling an appointment?
High Blood Pressure Chat

One third of people living in the United States  experiences high blood pressure. If you are one of the many who suffer from high blood pressure, join Emory Heart & Vascular Center preventive cardiologist Dr. Susmita Parashar on Tuesday, December 6 at 12:30 p.m. for an interactive online Q & A web chat. The topic is “Diagnosing, Treating and Managing High Blood Pressure.”

Dr. Parashar will be available to answer questions and discuss various topics about hypertension including symptoms, diagnosis, and treating and living with hypertension. To register for the online chat, visit: http://www.emoryhealthcare.org/heart or click the image to the right to be directed to the chat sign-up form.

 

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Emory Researchers Making Strides to Combat Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity & the HeartResearchers at Emory’s Heart & Vascular Center are taking strides to combat childhood obesity by being at the forefront of the formation of the Global Coalition to Combat Cardio – Metabolic Syndrome. This is a group of public health officials and medical experts from around the world led by Emory Heart & Vascular Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Omar Lattouf, MD, PhD.

Cardio-metabolic syndrome (CMS) is a cluster of diseases and risk factors—including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and abdominal fat—that puts a person at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The underlying causes are obesity, being overweight, physical inactivity and genetic factors.

The coalition will initially focus on an educational campaign to combat childhood obesity. Lattouf outlined plans to bring lessons about nutrition, exercise and the health hazards associated with obesity into Georgia classrooms.

Obesity & Heart Health Related Resources:

Manage Your Blood Pressure & Keep Your Heart Healthy!

Manage blood pressure heart healthDid you know that approximately 90% of all Americans will develop hypertension over their lifetime? One in three adults has high blood pressure, yet, many people don’t even know they have it.

Hypertension or high blood pressure occurs when your blood flows with too much force through your arteries, stretching your arteries beyond a healthy limit and causing microscopic tears. Though our body naturally repairs these tears with scar tissue that tissue also traps plaque and white blood cells, which can turn into blockages, blood clots, and hardened, weakened arteries. These effects in turn prevent blood flow and cause heart tissue to die, causing further severe conditions such as stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and heart failure.

High blood pressure is the single most significant risk factor for heart disease and can injure or kill you. It is known as the “silent killer” as it shows no symptoms, except in its most extreme cases known as hypertensive crisis, and without knowing it, you can damage your heart, brain, eyes and kidneys.

Blood pressure measures the force pushing against your arterial walls. A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers, systolic and diastolic. The systolic blood pressure is usually the higher number on the top that shows the pressure on the arteries when the heart is beating or contracting. This usually increases as you get older, but is given more attention as it can be major risk factor for heart disease for those 50 years and over. Diastolic blood pressure is the lower number at the bottom that measures the pressure on the arteries between heart beats or when the heart is resting.

It is very important to maintain your blood pressure at a healthy level to avoid severe health conditions. A normal level of blood pressure is less than 120 mm Hg systolic AND less than 80 mm Hg diastolic, so less than 120/80 mm Hg, for ages 20 and over. Keeping your blood pressure within this range can help reduce your risk of overstretched or injured blood vessel walls and blockages that cause your heart to pump harder as well as protect your body so that your tissue receives regular supplies of oxygen-rich blood.

High blood pressure is manageable and with a few lifestyle changes, you can stay healthy and avoid medication:

  1. Eating a heart-healthy diet, which includes reducing sodium as well as saturated and trans fat, cholesterol and added sugars, and eating foods high in whole grain fiber, lean protein, and a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  2. Being physical active and maintaining a healthy weight- 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity five times a week. Unfit or moderately fit adults had twice the risk for high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and diabetes than those who were highly fit.
  3. Managing stress
  4. Limiting alcohol- one to two drinks for men and one drink for women
  5. Avoiding tobacco smoke
  6. Regular Blood pressure screenings- the American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure screening at your regular healthcare visit or once every 2 years after age 20, if your blood pressure is more than 120/80 mm Hg. You can also consider home-monitoring.

Emory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life Campaign that promotes My Life Check –Life’s Simple 7. Eating better is one of the 7 steps to a healthier heart.

Learn more about The Emory Heart & Vascular Center  by visiting: http://www.emoryhealthcare.org/heartandvascular

About Gregory Robertson, MD:
Dr. Robertson specializes in Cardiology and Internal Medicine, and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory.  He sees patients at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.   He is very experienced in the management of hypertension and some of his other areas of clinical interest include atherosclerosis, cardiac catheterization, cardiovascular disease, valve disease, and peripheral artery disease. Dr. Robertson holds an organizational leadership membership at The American College of Cardiology, and has contributed to multiple publications in his field.