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Emilio Gutierrez MD

Family Medicine located in Austin, TX

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known as the “silent killer” because it can cause serious health complications before you even know you have it. Take action today by checking your blood pressure with Emilio Gutierrez, MD, at his office in Austin, Texas. If you do have hypertension, Dr. Gutierrez can put you on a path to better health. Don’t let high blood pressure slow you down. For same day or next day scheduling, reach out over the phone or via the online booking tool.

Hypertension Q & A

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is a chronic condition that affects over 100 million American adults. Characterized by elevated pressure in your arteries, it’s commonly called “high blood pressure.”

Hypertension is dangerous, in part, because your heart has to work harder in order to sufficiently move blood through your circulatory system. 

In addition, hypertension can damage the walls of your blood vessels by building up plaque, a hard residue, inside them. Plaque worsens high blood pressure and makes it harder for your heart to pump blood by narrowing the space in your arteries.

Left untreated, hypertension can potentially lead to other health problems, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke 
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dementia
  • Cognitive decline
  • Vision loss

Hypertension can also contribute to various types of organ damage.

Who gets high blood pressure?

In general, men and women are more likely to develop high blood pressure the older they are. In the African-American community, the rate of high blood pressure is much higher, and it often appears at an earlier age, with more severity. 

Currently, researchers believe that African-Americans may have a gene that makes them much more salt sensitive and leads in part to this higher occurrence.

Certain lifestyle choices and health conditions can also increase your risk exponentially. In particular, you put yourself at a higher risk for hypertension if you:

  • Smoke
  • Abuse alcohol or drugs
  • Take certain medications

In general, you’re also more likely to develop hypertension if you’re overweight or obese.

What causes hypertension?

Hypertension can appear for no apparent reason, or it may be a symptom of another condition. Doctors refer to hypertension that presents itself gradually over time, without a definite cause, as primary hypertension or essential hypertension.

In addition to lifestyle choices, some underlying conditions that cause the other type of hypertension, called secondary hypertension, include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Thyroid disease

In addition, congenital birth defects in the heart or other organs sometimes lead to secondary hypertension.

What is the treatment for hypertension?

Dr. Gutierrez treats your hypertension with an individualized plan that he designs to maximize your health improvement. When you meet with him, he discusses important aspects of your lifestyle and health history, and pinpoints areas you can isolate to improve your health. 

Examples of ways he may suggest you treat and control your hypertension include:

  • Exercise
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Cholesterol monitoring
  • Smoking cessation

In tandem with the regimen Dr. Gutierrez prescribes you, he may also prescribe a beta blocker or another medication that helps control high blood pressure.

If you suffer from, or suspect you suffer from, hypertension, don’t wait to take action. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Guiterrez, call his office or use the online booking tool today.