High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High Blood Pressure Blood pressure is a measurement of the force exerted against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood to your body. Hypertension is the term used to describe high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work too hard and contributes to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are the first- and third-leading causes of death among Americans. High blood pressure also can result in other conditions, such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness.

High blood pressure symptoms usually are not manifested, so periodic monitoring is important.

This test is part of Cardio-Med's physical exam.

Cardio-Med's In-Depth Blood Pressure Examination

At Cardio-Med, a detailed blood pressure evaluation is performed by the physician himself. This includes checking blood pressure in both arms in both the sitting and recumbent (lying down) position.

Differences in blood pressure readings between arms can indicate conditions such as

Blood pressure taken on one arm only, as is typically performed, cannot reveal these conditions.

These conditions can cause erroneously low blood pressure in one arm.

Read here about high blood pressure causes and symptoms.

Test Results

Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers. The top number is called the systolic blood pressure. The bottom number is called the diastolic blood pressure. For example, 120 over 80 (written as 120/80 mmHg).

One or both of these numbers can be too high. (Note: These numbers apply to people who are not taking medicines for blood pressure and are not ill.)

If you have heart or kidney problems, or you had a stroke, your physician may want your blood pressure to be even lower than that of people who do not have these conditions.

Exams and Tests

Your physician will measure your blood pressure many times before diagnosing you with high blood pressure. It is normal for your blood pressure to be different based on the time of day.

All adults should have their blood pressure checked every 1 to 2 years if their blood pressure was less than 120/80 mmHg at their most recent reading. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, have your blood pressure checked more often. At least once every year.

Make sure you get a good-quality, well-fitting home blood pressure monitor. It should have the proper sized cuff and a digital readout. Practice with your physician to make sure you are taking your blood pressure correctly. You should be relaxed and seated for several minutes prior to taking a reading. Bring your home monitor to your appointments so your physician can make sure it is working correctly.

Your physician will do a physical exam to look for signs of heart disease, damage to the eyes, and other changes in your body.

Tests may also be done to look for:

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of complications. You and your physician should set a blood pressure goal for you.

If you have pre-hypertension, your physician will recommend lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range. Medicines are rarely used for pre-hypertension.

LIFESTYLE CHANGES
You can do many things to help control your blood pressure at home, including:

Your physician can help you find programs for losing weight, stopping smoking and exercising.

You can also get a referral to a dietitian, who can help you plan a diet that is healthy for you.

How low your blood pressure should be and at what level you need to start treatment is individualized, based on your age and any medical problems you have.

MEDICINES FOR HYPERTENSION
Most of the time, your physician will try lifestyle changes first and check your pressure 2 or more times. Medicines will likely be started if your BP readings remain at or above these levels:

If you have diabetes, heart problems, or a history of a stroke, medicines may be started at lower blood pressure reading. The most commonly used blood pressure targets for people with these medical problems are below 130 to 140/80 mmHg.

There are many different medicines to treat high blood pressure.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most of the time, high blood pressure can be controlled with medicine and lifestyle changes.

When blood pressure is not well-controlled, you are at risk for:

If you have high blood pressure, you will have regular checkups with your physician. Even if you have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important to have your blood pressure checked during your regular check-up, especially if someone in your family has or had high blood pressure.

Call your physician right away if home monitoring shows that your blood pressure is still high.

Prevention

Most people can prevent high blood pressure from occurring by following lifestyle changes designed to bring blood pressure down.

Call (847)758-1230 today for an appointment and consultation with our physician.
Serving Chicago, IL and all of the Chicago northwest suburbs, southeastern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana.


Adapted from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) Scan

EKG scan Chicago, ECG scan Chicago An electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) scan is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart.

With each heartbeat, an electrical signal spreads from the top of the heart to the bottom. As it travels, the signal causes the heart to contract and pump blood. The process repeats with each new heartbeat. The heart's electrical signals set the rhythm of the heartbeat.

This test is part of Cardio-Med's complete physical exam.

How the Test is Performed

You will be asked to lie down. Your physician will clean several areas on your arms, legs, and chest, and then will attach small patches called electrodes to those areas. It may be necessary to shave or clip some hair so the patches stick to the skin. The number of patches used may vary.

The patches are connected by wires to a machine that turns the heart's electrical signals into wavy lines, which are often printed on paper. The physician reviews the test results.

You will need to remain still during the procedure. The physician may also ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds as the test is being done.

It is important to be relaxed during an ECG recording because any movement, including shivering, can alter the results.

Sometimes this test is done while you are exercising or under light stress to look for changes in the heart. This type of ECG is often called a stress test.

Why the Test is Performed

An EKG/ECG is used to measure:

An EKG is often the first test done to determine whether a person has heart disease. Your physician may order this test if:

Normal Results

Normal test results include:

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal EKG/ECG results may be a sign of:

Some heart problems that can lead to changes on an ECG test include:

We also offer a body scan that provides ultrasound imaging of body organs and a test for stroke to check carotid artery blood flow to the brain. This suite of tests including the complete physical exam gives your physician a complete view of your state of health.


Call (847)758-1230 today for an appointment and consultation with our physician.
Serving Chicago, IL and all of the Chicago northwest suburbs, southeastern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana.


Adapted from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

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PSA Prostate Cancer Test

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by prostate cells. The PSA blood test is a prostate cancer test that helps your physician diagnose and follow prostate cancer in men.

Most of the time, prostate cancer does not initially cause symptoms. By the time prostate symptoms do occur, the disease may have spread beyond the prostate.

This test is part of Cardio-Med's complete physical exam.

Prostate cancer symptoms may include the following:

Why the Test is Performed

Reasons for a PSA prostate cancer test:

Measuring the PSA level can increase the chance of finding prostate cancer when the cancer is in its early stages.

Before having the test, talk to your physician about the pros and cons of having a PSA test. Ask about:

If you choose to be tested, the prostate cancer test is most often done every year to screen men:

Normal Results

The PSA test result cannot diagnose prostate cancer. Only a prostate biopsy can diagnose this cancer.

Your physician will look at your prostate cancer test results and consider your age, ethnicity, medicines you are taking, and other things to decide whether your PSA is normal and whether you need more tests.

A normal PSA level is considered to be 4.0 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter of blood).

What Abnormal Results Mean

A high PSA level has been linked to an increased chance of having prostate cancer.

The prostate cancer test is an important tool for detecting prostate cancer, but it is not foolproof. Other conditions can cause a rise in PSA, including:

Your physician will consider the following things when deciding on the next step:

Men at high risk may need to have more tests. These may include:

If you have been treated for prostate cancer, the PSA level can show if treatment is working or if the cancer has come back. Often, PSA level rises before there are any symptoms. This may happen months or years beforehand.

We also offer a body scan that provides ultrasound imaging of body organs and a test for stroke to check carotid artery blood flow to the brain. This suite of tests including the physical exam gives your physician a complete view of your state of health.


Call (847)758-1230 today for an appointment and consultation with our physician.
Serving Chicago, IL and all of the Chicago northwest suburbs, southeastern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana.


Adapted from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

CA 125 Test for Ovarian Cancer

The CA 125 ovarian cancer test is a blood test measures the level of the protein CA 125 in the blood.

This test is part of Cardio-Med's complete physical exam.

Why the Test is Performed

CA 125 is a protein that is found more in ovarian cancer cells than in other cells.

The ovarian cancer test is often used to monitor women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The ovarian cancer test is useful if the CA 125 level was high when the cancer was first diagnosed. In these cases, measuring the CA 125 over time is a good tool to determine if ovarian cancer treatment is working.

After surgery and chemotherapy, women should have the test every 2 to 4 months for the first 2 years. This is followed by every 6 months for 3 years, and then yearly.

The CA 125 test may also be done if a woman has symptoms or findings on ultrasound that suggest ovarian cancer.

Normal Results

A level above 35 U/mL is considered abnormal.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your physician about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

In a woman who has ovarian cancer, a rise in CA 125 usually means that the disease has progressed or come back (recurred). A decrease in CA 125 usually means the disease is responding to current treatment.

In a woman who has not been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, a rise in CA 125 may mean a number of things. While it may mean that she has ovarian cancer, it can also indicate other types of cancer, as well as several other diseases, such as endometriosis, which are not cancer.

In healthy women, an elevated CA 125 usually does not mean ovarian cancer is present. Most healthy women with an elevated CA 125 do not have ovarian cancer, or any other cancer.

Any woman with an abnormal CA 125 ovarian cancer test needs further tests. Sometimes surgery is needed to confirm the cause.

We also offer a body scan that provides ultrasound imaging of body organs and a test for stroke to check carotid artery blood flow to the brain. This suite of tests including the physical exam gives your physician a complete view of your state of health.


Call (847)758-1230 today for an appointment and consultation with our physician.
Serving Chicago, IL and all of the Chicago northwest suburbs, southeastern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana.


Adapted from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Our physical exam goes far beyond the typical cursory exam to provide an in-depth assessment of your state of health. Our exam includes ALL of the advanced diagnostic tests shown above.

For an even more complete picture of your state of health, Cardio-Med offers in-house our ultrasound/no-radiation test for stroke and body scan.


Call (847)758-1230 today for an appointment and consultation with our physician.
Serving Chicago, IL and all of the Chicago northwest suburbs, southeastern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana.