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About High blood pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a condition in which your heart is meeting too much resistance from blocked or narrowed arteries as it tries to pump blood and oxygen around your body.

Stage 1 hypertension is generally considered to be a consistent systolic reading of 130-139 mm Hg and/or a diastolic reading of 80-89 mm Hg.

Stage 2 hypertension is classified as a consistent systolic reading of 140 mm Hg or higher and/or a diastolic reading of 90 mm Hg or higher.

High blood pressure is a common but serious condition. Almost half of all Americans have high blood pressure. When not treated, high blood pressure can lead to an array of serious health issues including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and much more. It’s made even more dangerous by the fact that, in some cases, symptoms may be invisible or hard to detect.

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

Blood pressure is called the “Silent Killer”, as it may not produce any noticeable symptoms or signs that anything is wrong. In fact, the vast majority of hypertension patients experience no signs or symptoms of high blood pressure. The symptoms listed below are signs of a medical emergency that warrants a visit to the emergency room.

Signs of emergency-level high blood pressure are:

  • Headaches
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nosebleeds

Again, the majority of patients with high blood pressure will not experience these adverse effects. High blood pressure rarely causes noticeable symptoms. Because of this, it is important to undergo regular check-ups with your primary care provider to test your blood pressure levels. Early detection of high blood pressure can make the condition easier to treat while preventing complications like those listed above.

High Blood Pressure Causes

Primary hypertension, or high blood pressure that's not caused by an underlying health condition, is generally caused by the narrowing of blood vessels. There are any number of reasons that blood vessels might constrict. This narrowing means that the heart has to work harder to move blood throughout the body. This puts strain on the organ, which can lead to heart disease and heart failure.

High Blood Pressure Risk Factors

High blood pressure has many risk factors. Conditions/ factors that may put you at greater risk of developing high blood pressure include:

Age: The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age. Hypertension is more common in older adults than younger adults.

Family history: A family history of high blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol can put you at increased risk for developing high blood pressure yourself.

Race: Black people are at greater risk for developing high blood pressure than individuals from other racial identities.

Overweight/ obesity: Being overweight or having obesity is one of the most common factors that leads to high blood pressure.

Lack of physical activity: A lack of exercise can cause you to become overweight. Being overweight changes blood vessels in the body, leading to increased pressure on the heart.

Tobacco use: Tobacco use has been shown to narrow blood vessels and causes the arteries to harden, increasing the risk of high blood pressure.

Alcohol/ substance abuse: Similarly, recreation drug use and the abuse of alcohol has been linked to increased blood pressure.

Stress: Excessive levels of prolonged stress has been shown to cause an increase in blood pressure. In addition, individuals dealing with stress are more likely to forego a healthy diet, cardiovascular exercise, and abuse tobacco/ alcohol.

This is not a complete list of risk factors, although these are the most common. If you have a family history of high blood pressure, or identify with any of the conditions listed above, speak to a health care provider to schedule a blood pressure test. Because high blood pressure rarely causes symptoms, it can be hard to detect until it's too late. Talk to your provider about how often you should undergo blood pressure screening.

Common Medication
Treatment Options

There are a variety of medicines available to treat high blood pressure. The medication that you’re prescribed will depend on many factors such as your age, race, how your body responds to treatment, and more. Many people are prescribed a combination of different medicines.

It is important to note that taking medication is only part of the equation. Equally, or perhaps even more important, is that you make some healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a diet that is low in salt and unhealthy fats, getting regular exercise, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, abstaining from smoking, and using alcohol only in moderation, if at all.

Below is a list of medications commonly prescribed for high blood pressure to help you talk to your doctor about what medication will be best for you.

Note that all prescriptions are at your provider's discretion.

Treatment for hypertension requires a combination of lifestyle changes, continued management, exercise, and, in most cases, medication. It's important to follow up with your doctor or a specialist for help managing your condition.
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Sesame FAQs

Frequently asked questions about high blood pressure treatment on Sesame

Sesame offers convenient and affordable online doctor visits with licensed health providers across the country. If you have a history of high blood pressure or at risk of developing high blood pressure, book a visit right away to discuss diagnosis and testing options.

Online doctor visits can be conducted in the comfort and privacy of your own home. During your visit, you will be asked about your symptoms and health history.

If your doctor determines that you have high blood pressure, they will discuss a treatment plan with you. This may include prescription medication and dietary/ lifestyle adjustments. If appropriate, your doctor can prescribe medication through Sesame. Depending on the medication, you can have your prescription delivered to your home or ready for same-day pickup at a pharmacy of your choice. Book a visit today to get started on treatment right away.

Yes! Sesame makes it easier than ever to get a new prescription or refill a prescription from the comfort of your own home! To discuss a new online prescription or refill, book a video visit with a doctor or nurse on Sesame to discuss a new online prescription or refill. Clinicians on Sesame can prescribe drugs that help treat high blood pressure.

Note that providers on Sesame cannot prescribe controlled substances.

Book a video visit on based on the health care you need, and pick up a new prescription or existing prescription refill at a pharmacy of your choice. Browse services on Sesame, set up an appointment with a real doctor at your convenience, and get the care you need.

Booking an appointment with a doctor or nurse online is typically the fastest way to get a prescription! Sesame offers same-day online doctor prescription and prescription refill appointments with board-certified healthcare professionals. If deemed clinically necessary, Sesame providers can provide prescriptions and prescription refills for most non-controlled substances. They can also provide you with a doctor’s note if necessary.

Most online prescription and prescription refill appointments take around 15 minutes, and providers are able to send a prescription to a pharmacy of your choice right after your appointment.

Sesame offers online prescription and refill services at affordable prices, starting at just $34. If a new prescription is determined necessary by a provider, clinicians on Sesame can prescribe medication that helps treat blood pressure, infections, allergies, cholesterol problems, thyroid conditions, and more!

Yep! If you request a prescription transfer, you can easily move your prescription from one pharmacy to another. Plus, many pharmacies now offer mail services for home delivery. Here's how to request a prescription refill at a different pharmacy:

1) Call your new preferred pharmacy to request a transfer.

2) Provide that pharmacy with health insurance/ prescription info

3) Wait for the prescription to be transferred before you pick it up. It usually takes pharmacies a few days to transfer a prescription, but you will get a notification once this step has been completed. Either go pick up your prescription in person or set up home delivery.

If you need a prescription refill, book a visit with a real, quality doctor on Sesame today. Doctors on Sesame can refill prescriptions for high blood pressure, birth control, allergies, and more! Save up to 60% on your prescription refill visit when you book with Sesame.

Yes, your doctor can send the prescription to the pharmacy of your choice.

Sesame does not accept insurance for provider appointments - however, you can pay with cash, credit, debit, or even your FSA or HSA card since visits and prescriptions on Sesame are considered health expenses.

However, Sesame clinicians can assist with insurance prior authorization specifically for patients who book a weight management service through Sesame’s online weight loss program.

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