Hypertension Specialist

Family Medical Wellness Center

Family Medicine & Primary Care Practice located in Elkridge, MD, and Ellicott, MD and Columbia, MD

Hypertension is a common condition that leaves you at risk for several serious health concerns. At Family Medical Wellness Center in Elkridge, Columbia and Ellicott City, Maryland, board-certified family medicine physician Rubina Alvi, MD, and her team offer disease management, helping men and women find the right treatments and lifestyle modifications to get their condition under control. To speak with Dr. Alvi about managing your hypertension, call the Howard County office, or request an appointment online today.

Hypertension Q&A

What is hypertension?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition that occurs when the pressure of blood moving through your artery walls is too high. Hypertension can cause many serious health risks, such as heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. Many adults have hypertension for years without noticing signs or symptoms.

Although symptoms aren’t usually present, the damage caused by hypertension continues to increase stress on your heart and blood vessels. When symptoms do occur, it’s typically during the severe, life-threatening stage of the condition. Symptoms of hypertension include headaches, shortness of breath, and nose bleeds. 

What causes hypertension?

There are two types of high blood pressure. The first type is primary hypertension. For those with primary hypertension, the cause is typically unknown. Primary hypertension is influenced by several different risk factors and typically develops gradually over time. 

The second type of hypertension is called secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying condition that triggers an increase in blood pressure. Secondary hypertension typically happens suddenly and causes higher blood pressure than primary hypertension. Conditions like obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid problems, and kidney problems can all lead to secondary hypertension.  

Who is at risk for hypertension?

Although the exact cause of primary hypertension isn’t always known, many factors increase your risk for the condition. Risk factors for hypertension include:

  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Tobacco use
  • High sodium diet
  • Low potassium diet
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Age

Having a family history of hypertension also puts you at a higher risk. Dr. Alvi typically notices hypertension during routine physical exams. If you’re diagnosed, there are some effective ways to manage your condition and keep your blood pressure under control. 

How is hypertension treated?

Treatment for your high blood pressure depends on several factors, including your personal health and the severity of your condition. Dr. Alvi and her team work with you to develop the right treatment plan for your hypertension. Depending on your needs, treatment can include lifestyle changes like regular exercise and weight loss, diet modifications, and medication. Dr. Alvi also provides counseling for smoking cessation. 

To find the right treatment for your hypertension, call the office or book an appointment online.