Hypertension can lead to several types of heart disease and doubles your risk of developing heart failure. Mubarak Khawaja, MD, Asim Khawaja, MD, and the experienced team at CareOne Internal Medicine and Primary Care work closely with patients in and around Houston and Katy, Texas, offering customized care to prevent and treat hypertension and heart disease. If you’re past due for blood pressure screening or it’s time for your annual exam, call their office or book an appointment online.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, and heart disease may develop from an underlying health condition. For example, obstructive sleep apnea raises your risk for hypertension, while diabetes is a top cause of heart disease.
In most patients, however, both hypertension and heart disease develop slowly over many years. The top risk factors include:
Two additional risk factors for heart disease, high cholesterol, and body-wide inflammation, can also develop due to lifestyle problems such as being overweight and eating a poor diet.
Untreated hypertension damages the artery walls, creating a rough spot where cholesterol easily sticks to the wall. Over time, cholesterol and other fats accumulate and create hardened plaque. That’s when you have a condition called atherosclerosis, the most common cause of heart and blood vessel disease.
Hypertension also makes your heart work harder than normal. This problem leads to thickened heart muscles and heart disease.
Hypertension seldom causes symptoms. You won’t experience signs of a problem until cholesterol plaques get large enough to block a significant amount of the normal blood flow. Then you could develop chest pain, leg pain, or worse — a heart attack or stroke. Patients with heart disease could experience symptoms such as:
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to protect your health by scheduling a checkup at CareOne Internal Medicine and Primary Care.
When hypertension is caught at an early stage, lifestyle changes often reverse the problem. Eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise, and losing weight if needed are also part of your treatment for heart disease.
If you need medication, your provider may prescribe one or more medications to reduce blood pressure or cholesterol, thin your blood, and relieve chest pain. If your condition is advanced, the team at CareOne Internal Medicine and Primary Care refers you to a cardiovascular specialist.
If it’s time for your annual exam or you experience symptoms such as chest pain, call CareOne Internal Medicine and Primary Care or book an appointment online.