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Nephrology & Hypertension serving Middle Tennessee

Hypertension services offered throughout Middle tennessee

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a risk factor for numerous chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. At Southern Kidney Specialists, with locations throughout Middle Tennessee, the experienced nephrology team screens for and treats hypertension to reduce the chance of medical complications. Call the nearest office to schedule an appointment, or book one online today.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension or high blood pressure develops when the pressure inside blood vessels is higher than normal. It may result from genetic factors and unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as carrying excess body weight, smoking, or a lack of exercise.

Secondary hypertension occurs because of another medical condition, such as kidney disease, congenital blood vessel or heart defects, tumors, or thyroid disorders. 

Treating high blood pressure is vital to reduce the chance of life-altering complications. See your medical provider for routine blood pressure screenings to detect hypertension early before it causes serious problems. 

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

Most of the time, there are no clear symptoms of hypertension, which is why high blood pressure screening is so important. If your blood pressure becomes dangerously high, you may develop nosebleeds, headaches, or shortness of breath.

Complications linked to untreated hypertension include a stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, kidney problems, eye damage, heart failure, and even memory issues.

What are the causes and risk factors of hypertension?

Risk factors for developing hypertension include:

  • Personal or family history of hypertension
  • Older age
  • Tobacco use
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Carrying excess body weight
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Consuming too little potassium
  • Excess sodium consumption 
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea

Adopting healthy habits is an excellent way to minimize your chance of developing high blood pressure or its underlying cause.

How is hypertension diagnosed?

To diagnose hypertension, your provider uses an inflatable blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope or machine. They also complete a physical exam. You might need blood tests, urinalysis, an echocardiogram, or an electrocardiogram (EKG).

How is hypertension treated?

To treat hypertension, make it a point to minimize your sodium intake and eat nutritious foods as directed by your doctor. Get regular exercise and plenty of sleep, keep stress levels as low as possible, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol in excess. 

If you’re overweight, gradually move toward an ideal body weight using healthy habits or a medically supervised weight loss program.

You might also need to take blood pressure-lowering medicines or medications that control the underlying cause of secondary hypertension.

To get screened or treated for hypertension, schedule an appointment at Southern Kidney Specialists by phone or request one online today.