High Blood Pressure Specialist

Matthew L. Mintz, MD, FACP

Internist located in Bethesda, MD

Heart disease and stroke kill more people in the United States than any other cause, and high blood pressure increases your risk for both. About one-third of all Americans have hypertension. At his practice in Bethesda, Maryland, Dr. Matthew Mintz knows the toll that high blood pressure takes on your body, and he’s your ideal partner in diagnosing, treating, and managing hypertension. Dr. Mintz welcomes all patients from Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, Chevy Chase, and the surrounding areas of Washington D.C. and Virginia. Call or book an appointment online today.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What causes high blood pressure?

There are two types of high blood pressure and understanding these helps to follow the origins of the condition.

Primary hypertension occurs without an identifiable cause, usually developing over years, building gradually. Secondary hypertension appears as a symptom of another condition. Its onset is usually faster than primary hypertension, and pressure levels are typically higher.

Common causes of secondary hypertension include:

  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Chronic alcohol use
  • Congenital blood vessel defects
  • Drug use, such as amphetamine and cocaine
  • Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Reaction to some medications, such as birth control pills and over the counter pain relief

What symptoms does high blood pressure cause?

Initially, hypertension usually presents no symptoms until it reaches dangerous levels. Some people may experience headaches or nosebleeds as a result of high blood pressure, but the presence of these isn’t a reliable indicator, as there may be many other reasons for both of these symptoms.

Blood pressure testing is simple, non-invasive, and usually included in any health assessment procedure, such as an annual physical exam or urgent care triage. If you’re over the age of 40, or if you’re any age with risk factors associated with hypertension, Dr. Mintz takes your blood pressure annually, during your yearly physical.

What are the risk factors for high blood pressure?

Your risk of hypertension rises as you age and as you gain weight. If high blood pressure runs in your family, then it’s more likely you will develop it too. Other risk factors include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Stress
  • Too much salt or too little potassium in your diet
  • Chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and sleep apnea

How is high blood pressure treated?

There are several classes of drug that help with hypertension through a number of approaches, such as relaxing your blood vessels or reducing blood volume. Finding the right combination of medications for you may take some time since often two or more low-dose medications are more effective than larger doses of a single drug.

Lifestyle changes, including more physical activity and effective weight management, may be the most powerful and sustaining ways to reduce hypertension. Dr. Mintz offers his own medically supervised weight loss program that’s an ideal option if you have hypertension issues.

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