Hypertension is one of the most common conditions and affects millions of people in the US and worldwide. At JW Family Medicine in Fulshear, Texas, we manage hypertension daily. The main issue with hypertension is that it’s a silent disease, so it is usually only diagnosed through screening blood pressure readings.
Another problem with hypertension being silent is that some people decide not to take their treatments since they don’t have any physical complaints. Unfortunately, hypertension has very serious complications and can potentially be lethal.
The most common type of hypertension is called primary or essential hypertension. This usually starts in people between the ages of 40 and 60. There’s no cure for essential hypertension since we don’t know what causes it. It just develops, and people have to keep taking their prescribed treatment for life to keep their blood pressure under control. Essential hypertension is considered benign and is associated with lower blood pressure readings compared to secondary
Secondary hypertension often occurs at a younger age and can be lethal in a short time. The good thing about secondary hypertension is that it has a cause, and by treatment of the cause, hypertension is cured. Causes of secondary hypertension include tumors affecting the adrenal gland like pheochromocytoma, Cushing’s disease, and Conn’s syndrome. We suspect secondary hypertension in patients who have very high blood pressure readings at a young age and don’t respond to meds.
As mentioned earlier, at JW Family Medicine, we do our best to convince patients to take their meds in fear of the complications of hypertension. Almost all people with essential hypertension feel fine apart from an occasional headache, but if left uncontrolled, hypertension has disastrous effects.
Uncontrolled hypertension can stress the heart and lead to heart failure. It can also lead to stroke, retinal damage, and atherosclerosis. These complications may occur early in secondary hypertension, but take some time to develop in those with essential hypertension.
We encourage people who have high blood pressure to get it treated and under control. If you have any questions about high blood pressure, feel free to contact us at JW Family Medicine.