1. Simple Steps for Controlling Hypertension

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    from Lee Memorial Health System Added 37 0 0

    Hypertension. As health conditions go it is often misunderstood. Because it doesn’t make you feel bad, people tend to overlook its seriousness. “Hypertension is often known as the silent killer because most patients have no symptoms at all,” says Dr. Gary Goforth, who is a family practice physician with Lee Memorial Health System. Doctors take hypertension very serious. It can be fatal, leading to heart attack and stroke. But you can take steps to control your blood pressure. First-be informed. Pay attention to your numbers. “True hypertension is when the blood pressure is consistently 140/90. There’s a term called pre-hypertension when the systolic pressure, the high number is between 121 and 139 and when the diastolic pressure, the lower number, is between 80 and 89,” says Dr. Goforth. These numbers serve as notice that it’s time to change. Step two: look at your lifestyle. “Asking patients to lose weight, reduce salt in their diet, reduce alcohol intake - all things that are very effective in lowering blood pressure and preventing them from needing medicines,” Dr. Goforth says. Step three may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not. Getting blood pressure under control may require medication. If your doctor advises it, it’s important patients to stick to the program. “When they’ve got severe or stage two hypertension then we generally will start with at least two drugs and add to that to control pressure. However, if they make major lifestyle changes it’s possible that they lower their blood pressure and they get off medicine,” says Dr. Goforth. Generally speaking, hypertension is a lifelong illness. But following these steps helps you control the disease. So it doesn’t control you. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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    • Primary Care - Front Line to Hypertension

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      from Lee Memorial Health System Added 68 1 0

      You wouldn’t guess by looking that Richard Barnhart is suffering from a potentially life-threatening condition. “Doctor told me – checked my blood pressure - told me I have hypertension,” says Barnhart. That’s usually the way it goes with hypertension. “Hypertension is often known as the ‘silent killer’ because most patients have no symptoms at all,” says Dr. Gary Goforth, family practice with Lee Memorial Health System. Discovered through regular medical checkups, family doctors are often the front line in combatting the condition. “Primary care physicians are typically the ones that would diagnose and treat most cases of hypertension. Only in the unusual cases where you have very severe hypertension, would they go to cardiologist,” says Dr. Goforth. Blood pressure refers to the force that blood pushes against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps. The two-number reading reflects when your heart is contracting and then between beats. A high blood pressure reading is a sign your heart is working too hard. “It’s normal for blood pressure to go up when you’re stressed or you’re exercising. But when it’s persistently elevated, it puts you at risk of having heart attack, strokes and other cardiovascular events,” says Dr. Goforth. It’s estimated about half the people who have hypertension, don’t know it. Identifying it helps your doctor help you. “We’d like to do lifestyle changes. So asking patients to lose weight, reduce salt in their diet, reduce alcohol intake. All things that are very effective in lowering blood pressure,” says Dr. Goforth. And all working for Barnhart; he’s successfully battled hypertension for 40 years. “I get medication, I exercise and I keep my weight down,” says Barnhart. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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