When To See A Doctor For Hypertension

Iowa Kidney Physicians is here to help when you are experiencing symptoms of high blood pressure. Hypertension in Des Moines, IA, is a common problem, and our skilled team of physicians can help you manage your blood pressure and stay healthy.

What is hypertension?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, happens when the force of your blood against your artery walls is high. Blood pressure is measured by the amount of blood your heart pumps against how narrow your arteries are. A blood pressure reading has two numbers and is measured by millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)

  • Systolic pressure (top number) measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
  • Diastolic pressure (bottom number) measures the pressure in between beats.

A normal blood pressure reading is a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80. If your numbers are out of this range, you have high blood pressure. You can have high blood pressure without having symptoms, but some symptoms can present, like shortness of breath, headaches, or nosebleeds. If you have any symptoms, see your doctor for treatment of hypertension in Des Moines, IA.

When do I see my doctor?

Your blood pressure is always taken as part of your vitals, partially because you can have high blood pressure and never exhibit obvious symptoms so it should be checked often. If you ever have a blood pressure reading of systolic pressure higher than 180 and diastolic pressure higher than 120, you are in hypertensive crisis and should contact your doctor immediately. Other symptoms of a hypertensive crisis include:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe headache with blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Severe anxiety
  • Shortness of breath

With any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately. To prevent high blood pressure, your doctor will recommend quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing stress. When you are suffering from hypertension in Des Moines, IA, Iowa Kidney Physicians are here to help. Contact us for an appointment in Methodist Plaza at (515) 336-6557, and in Riverpoint at (515) 243-3161.