Blood pressure, a key factor in circulatory health, is often misunderstood, with its complexity extending far beyond the digits revealed by a blood pressure cuff.
Cardiovascular physician Dr. Majed Chane and the team at CA Heart and Vein Specialists strive to empower our patients through education. That's why we're shedding light on some of the surprising and lesser-known facts about blood pressure, arming you with the knowledge you need to take proactive steps toward improved heart health.
Blood pressure isn't static
You may not realize that blood pressure changes throughout the day depending on your activities, emotions, and even the time of day. For instance, it’s usually lower while you're sleeping and rises when you wake up.
White coat syndrome is real
The phenomenon of experiencing a spike in blood pressure during a medical visit is often referred to as “white coat syndrome.” This condition affects approximately 20% of patients and is generally caused by the anxiety or stress associated with being in a medical environment.
Exercise can temporarily increase blood pressure
While physical activities can temporarily raise your blood pressure, it's not a cause for concern. This is a normal response as your heart pumps blood harder to supply the active muscles. Regular exercise, in fact, strengthens the heart and can lead to a lower resting blood pressure.
Hypertension affects young people
High blood pressure isn't exclusive to older adults. Younger individuals, even children and teens, can develop high blood pressure, particularly if they’re overweight or have an unhealthy lifestyle. Regular blood pressure checks are important at all ages to ensure early detection and management of hypertension.
Loneliness and isolation can increase blood pressure
Interestingly, social factors like loneliness and isolation can also influence blood pressure. Studies have shown that prolonged periods of loneliness or social isolation can lead to increased blood pressure, possibly due to associated stress and its impact on heart health.
Hypertension often has no symptoms
Dubbed the “silent killer,” high blood pressure usually shows no symptoms until it reaches severe levels. This underscores the importance of regular checkups for early detection and management.
Home blood pressure monitoring is beneficial
Investing in a home blood pressure monitor can provide a picture of your blood pressure trends. This is particularly useful for patients with white coat syndrome or for monitoring the effectiveness of your blood pressure management strategies.
Don't let high blood pressure go unchecked. Knowing your numbers and scheduling a heart health check are proactive steps to keeping your heart healthy.
To get on the path to improved heart health, contact our office in Huntington Beach, California, to schedule a visit with Dr. Chane today. Your heart health matters.