Hypertension

Millennium Park Medical Associates

Internal Medicine located in The Loop & Lakeview, Chicago, IL

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious health problem in America and is often referred to as a “silent killer.” Taking a proactive stance against high blood pressure is important and is an area of specialty for Farah N. Khan, MD, FACP of Millennium Park Medical Associates in the Loop and the Lakeview neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois. If you’re curious about your blood pressure or looking for ways to reduce your readings, call the office today to set up a visit with Dr. Khan and his team.

Hypertension Q & A

What is hypertension?

High blood pressure means your heart is working harder than it should to move blood throughout your body. Over time, hypertension can lead to a wide range of negative health consequences.  

Blood pressure is the amount of pressure placed on the walls of your arteries. Systolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure created during each heartbeat, and diastolic blood pressure is the pressure created in the pause between heartbeats. 

Generally, blood pressure that measures at or below 120/80 is considered normal. Levels higher than 140/90 is the threshold for hypertension. If your blood pressure falls between those levels you may have prehypertension and should make adjustments to reach healthier levels. 

What are some causes of hypertension? 

Many different things contribute to high blood pressure, but the most common problem involves poor diet and insufficient exercise.

If you routinely consume foods that are high in fat and low in protein, your blood pressure is likely to rise. A sedentary lifestyle also places you at high risk for hypertension. 

Some of the risk factors that increase your chances of the condition include:

  • Unmanaged stress
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity 
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Family history

Men and women over the age of 60 have a higher risk level, as do certain ethnic groups. 

How is hypertension treated?

Treating hypertension focuses on bringing your blood pressure back to healthier levels. That process involves numerous treatment efforts. 

While there are medications that can help lower your blood pressure, hypertension isn’t a problem that can be resolved with pills alone. 

Dr. Khan works with you to identify lifestyle factors that can be improved and help you create a realistic plan to make incremental changes over time. 

Medication can help you bring your numbers down relatively quickly, but improving your diet and exercise routine is what will keep those numbers where they need to be for the long term. 

If you’re ready to explore these and other treatment options, book a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Khan. Online scheduling is available, or you can always call the office for an appointment.