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Hypertension & Cholesterol

Cause and What to Watch For

Hypertension is high blood pressure. This may occur from a medical problem or may just be part of normal aging. Untreated, high blood pressure can damage parts of your body inducing your heart, brain, and kidneys.

Cholesterol is a molecule that our bodies use to make hormones and to help make cell walls. It is made in our liver and also comes from animal products. In the bloodstream, cholesterol is often packaged within balls of fats. These balls of fat and cholesterol can stick to the arteries and eventually clog up an artery. The clog creates a blockage, which can cause harm to our organs.

If you have hypertension, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble breathing with activity

If you have high cholesterol, the condition is often silent until the arteries get clogged up.

How to Diagnose Hypertension & Cholesterol


  • Blood pressure cuff (home or in the office)
  • Eye exam (can see changes in the eye arteries)

High Cholesterol

  • Very high levels can cause changes in the eyes
  • Otherwise usually found by doing blood tests
  • Often runs in families

How to Treat Hypertension & Cholesterol

Making healthy lifestyle changes has benefits for your blood pressure and cholesterol. Your doctor may prescribe medications to treat hypertension and high cholesterol.


  • Weight loss
  • Avoid salt (less than 2 grams a day)
  • Diet
  • Exercise (at least 150 minutes of getting your heart rate up a week)
  • Medications
    • Diuretics: HCTZ, Chlorthalidone, Aldactone
    • Beta blockers: Metoprolol, Coreg, Atenolol, Bystolic
    • Calcium channel blockers: Norvasc, Cardizem
    • ACE inhibitors: Lisinpril, Benezapril, Ramapril
    • ARBs: Losartan, Diovan
    • Nitrates: Imdur
    • Smooth muscle relaxants: Hydralazine, minoxidil
    • Alpha 1 blockers: Hytrin
    • Alpha 2 agonists: Clondine
  • Fix secondary causes such as sleep apnea and kidney artery blockages

High Cholesterol

  • Diet (avoid animal fats)
  • Exercise (150 minutes a week)
  • Medications
    • Statins: Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Pravachol
    • Zetia
    • Fish oil: Lovaza, Vascepa
    • PCSK9 inhibitors: Praulent and Repatha
    • Fibrates: Lopid, Tricor
    • Binders: Cholestyramine, Welchol
    • Niacin