High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Elevated Pressure When Blood Moves Through Your Arteries
Mercy Health works with you to identify the best way to lower your high blood pressure and cholesterol. Please consult your primary care physician to put together a comprehensive plan for treating your cardiovascular conditions.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood moving through the vessels of your body naturally causes pressure on vessel walls. Pressure is needed to safely move the blood throughout your body in order to deliver oxygen-rich blood.
The measure of the pressure against the walls of arteries is called blood pressure, measured by a device called a blood pressure monitor. Health care providers measure blood pressure to check that it's in a healthy range, which safely allows the blood to flow throughout your body. When the measurement is high, that is called high blood pressure or "hypertension." If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, heart failure, stroke, blindness or kidney failure.
High blood pressure symptoms include being overweight, a previous record of hypertension and family history. However, high blood pressure is largely symptomless.
Per The American Heart Association's blood pressure chart:
What is High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol is the presence of too much waxy material that comes from fats in blood. A certain amount of fat in blood is necessary and healthy, but too much cholesterol can be harmful.
When cholesterol and other materials build up along the walls of your blood vessels, together they are called plaque. Plaque can partially or totally restrict the flow of blood throughout your body. When this buildup occurs in the arteries leading to your heart, the condition is called atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries." Increased cholesterol levels can increase plaque in blood and lead to stroke or cardiovascular disease.
There are typically no high cholesterol symptoms, so regular checks by your physician are important.
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Your provider can measure your cholesterol level by doing a blood test to see if you're at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.