High Blood Pressure Specialist

William Lee Harris, M.D.

Family Medicine & Geriatrics located in Charleston, WV

High blood pressure causes up to 60,000 deaths each year, but one in five adults in the United States don’t realize they have it. Dr. William L. Harris in Charleston, West Virginia, has been managing and treating health conditions like high blood pressure for 45 years. Protect your heart by knowing your numbers. Call or schedule a blood pressure check-up today with Dr. Harris. Same day appointments are available. He also services the communities of South Charleston, Cross Lanes, Saint Albans, Huntington, Vienna, Summersville, Madison, Clay, Sutton, Fayetteville, Logan, WV.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is also referred to as “the silent killer” because it rarely has symptoms until damage occurs.

Blood pressure is the stress your blood exerts on the inside of your arteries as your heart pushes oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. When this force remains too high for long periods of time, you have high blood pressure, and serious complications can arise.

High blood pressure causes your heart and blood vessels to work harder and reduces their efficiency. When left untreated, the force exerted on the inside of your arteries causes damage to the tissue and collects plaque. As the plaque and damage grow, your arteries become more narrow, and your heart is forced to work even harder.

What are the risks of high blood pressure?

When left untreated, high blood pressure can cause serious damage to your blood vessels and affect other organs in your body. Some health complications associated with high blood pressure include:

  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Vision loss
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Cognitive issues
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)

High blood pressure can also weaken or narrow the blood vessels in your kidneys.

What causes high blood pressure?

There are two types of high blood pressure: primary (essential) hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary high blood pressure typically develops gradually over years while secondary hypertension is associated with another health condition and occurs suddenly.

Causes of primary hypertension include:

  • Family history
  • High sodium diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Diet low in potassium and vitamin D

High blood pressure is also more common in men over 45 and women over 65; but, African Americans are at higher risk of developing hypertension at an earlier age.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed and managed?

Your blood pressure is measured by checking its systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure measures the force as your heart pumps, and diastolic pressure evaluates the heart as it rests between beats.

If your blood pressure is elevated or high, Dr. Harris works with you to outline the most effective course of treatment. This might include medication, lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, and regular blood pressure checks.

To learn more about high blood pressure, call William L. Harris, MD today. Same day appointments are available!