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Cross Street Medical Clinic offers tests and treatments for hypertension. Our doctors can manage hypertension effectively. Speak to our doctors today about what you may need.

Hypertension is an approved CHAS/Medisave claimable chronic condition.

What is Hypertension

Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a common, long term (i.e., chronic) medical condition in which blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated above normal.

Hypertension usually does not have any symptoms. However, uncontrolled hypertension increases the risk of serious health outcomes, such as heart attack and stroke.

It is important to detect high blood pressure early, in order to manage and treat the condition appropriately, and to reduce the risk of complications.

Classification of BP levels for adults aged 18 years and older:

CategorySystolic BPDiastolic BP
Normal BP<130 mmHg<85 mmHg
High-normal BP130 to 139 mmHg85 to 89 mmHg
Grade 1 hypertension140 to 159 mmHg90 to 99 mmHg
Grade 2 hypertension160 to 179 mmHg100 to 109 mmHg
Grade 3 hypertension≥ 180 mmHg≥ 110 mmHg
Isolated systolic hypertension≥ 140 mmHg*< 90 mmHg

* Isolated systolic hypertension is graded according to the same level of systolic BP.

How do we develop Hypertension

Hypertension is divided into two categories: Primary and secondary.

Primary Hypertension (or essential hypertension) is high blood pressure caused by non-specific lifestyle and genetic factors. 90-95% of cases fall into this category.

Risk factors include:

• Age – Risk increases as you age
• Family history of hypertension
• Smoking
• Being overweight or obese
• Lack of physical activity
• To much alcohol consumption
• Too much salt (sodium) or too little potassium in diet

Secondary Hypertension is caused by specific medical conditions, such as:

• Kidney disease – Chronic kidney disease, renal artery stenosis
• Endocrine – Cushing’s syndrome, hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, acromegaly, Conn’s syndrome or hyperaldosteronism, hyperparathyroidism, pheochromocytoma
• Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, painkillers and some prescription drugs
• Sleep apnoea
• Pregnancy – This is called Gestational Hypertension and Pre-eclampsia
• Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines

How can we tell that we may have Hypertension

Hypertension rarely has symptoms and is usually diagnosed during routine medical visits or health screening. Thus, it is important to visit your doctor for a routine medical checkup or health screening at least once a year.

Symptoms associated with Hypertension include:

• Headaches
• Lightheadedness, vertigo, tinnitus
• Fatigue, fainting or blurred vision
• Difficulty breathing
• Irregular heartbeat

Testing and diagnosing Hypertension

Blood pressure readings should be taken from both arms. It is important to use an appropriate-sized arm cuff.

If hypertension is suspected, the following should be conducted by a doctor:

• Review medical history and perform physical examination
• Recommend blood pressure readings are taken on two or three separate visits to a clinic

In addition, recommended routine tests include:

• Weight, height, body mass index
• Urine test – UFEME or Combur 7
• Blood tests – Renal and lipid profile
• Smoking assessment

Hypertension is an approved CHAS/Medisave claimable chronic condition.

Our doctors at Cross Street Medical are trained to test and diagnose hypertension properly. Speak to our doctors about what you may need.

What does Hypertension do to our bodies

Long-term Hypertension may increase your risk of developing the following conditions/complications:

• Coronary artery disease – Angina and heart attack
• Stroke
• Heart failure
• Metabolic syndrome
• Peripheral vascular disease
• Chronic kidney disease
• Dementia

What is the treatment for Hypertension

Hypertension is usually treated with oral anti-hypertensive medication.

If there is a specific medical condition causing hypertension, then treatment is aimed at treating that condition.

Lifestyle changes are an important aspect of managing hypertension. Lifestyle recommendations include:

• Eat healthily. Eat a heart-healthy diet, like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy foods. Consume enough potassium, which can help prevent and control high blood pressure. Eat less saturated fat and trans fat.

• Decrease the salt in your diet. Aim to limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day. In fact, sodium intake of 1,500 mg a day or less is ideal for most adults. Pay attention to the amount of salt that is in the processed foods you eat, such as canned soups or frozen dinners.

• Maintain a healthy weight. Keeping a healthy weight, or losing weight if you’re overweight or obese.

• Increase physical activity. Regular physical activity can help lower your blood pressure, manage stress and keep your weight under control. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. For example, try brisk walking for about 30 minutes most days of the week. Aim to do muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days a week.

• Limit alcohol. Even if you are healthy, alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women, and up to two drinks a day for men.

• Do not smoke. Tobacco can injure blood vessel walls and speed up the process of buildup of plaque in the arteries. If you smoke, ask your doctor to help you quit.

• Manage stress. Reduce stress as much as possible. Practice healthy coping techniques, such as muscle relaxation, deep breathing or meditation. Getting regular physical activity and plenty of sleep can help, too.

Monitor your blood pressure at home. Home blood pressure monitoring can help you keep a closer eye on your blood pressure, show if medication is working, and even alert you and your doctor to potential complications. Home blood pressure monitoring is not a substitute for visits to your doctor, and home blood pressure monitors may have some limitations. Even if you get normal readings, do not stop or change your medications or alter your diet without talking to your doctor first.

Hypertension is an approved CHAS/Medisave claimable chronic condition.

Our doctors at Cross Street Medical are trained to test, diagnose and treat hypertension effectively. Speak to our doctors today.