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Can I Have Hypertension Without Knowing It?

Can I Have Hypertension Without Knowing It?

Hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure, affects almost half of adults in the United States and is a primary or contributing cause of nearly 700 thousand deaths across the country every year. 

With such a high prevalence, you might assume people are mindful of their blood pressure and the diet and lifestyle factors that influence it. Yet, many people with high blood pressure have no clue they have it or of the many health risks. 

Unfortunately, hypertension can lead to medical concerns. But you can manage your blood pressure to reduce your risk of:


Laika Rodriguez, ND, of Salem Wellness Clinic in Salem, Oregon, specializes in primary and naturopathic care to manage your blood pressure. She can teach you about your blood pressure, its influences, and the best practices for keeping it in check. 

Hypertension and the signs

The thing about hypertension is that it rarely causes symptoms. That is why it’s dubbed a “silent disease.” You could have it for years and not know until complications arise. 

In rare cases, a dangerous spike in blood pressure can lead to headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds. You certainly don’t want your hypertension to flare up in such a way, so getting routine blood pressure readings is a must. 

Understanding your blood pressure reading

You can get a blood pressure reading from your physician during any medical visit or stop by your local pharmacy to use a digital blood pressure reading machine. An inflatable cuff gently tightens around your rested arm and provides a reading either on a gauge or on a screen. If you get a blood pressure test from your health care provider, they take your pulse simultaneously using a stethoscope. 

Your blood pressure measurement includes two numbers that indicate millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The top number is your systolic blood pressure, or the force of blood against your vessel walls when your heart contracts, and should ideally be 120 or less. The lower number, or diastolic blood pressure, is the force of blood against your vessel walls between heartbeats. A “healthy” blood pressure reading is 120/80.

At Salem Wellness Clinic, Dr. Rodriguez interprets your reading and can tell you if your blood pressure is elevated or high. 

Your next steps

Discovering you have hypertension might startle you, but there are plenty of steps you can take to get your blood pressure down into a healthy range. You can independently manage your blood pressure with naturopathic care, including personalized weight loss, smoking cessation, exercise recommendations, dietary modifications, and stress management. In some cases, prescriptions for blood pressure management are needed to maintain your long-term health. 

You can visit Salem Wellness Clinic to check in with Dr. Rodriguez about your blood pressure and overall health. For more information on blood pressure readings and the health risks associated with hypertension, call Salem Wellness Clinic or request an appointment online.

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