High Blood Pressure Specialist

Patricia G. Gao, MD

Primary Care Physician located in Glen Burnie, MD

Millions of Americans suffer from the chronic, but treatable, condition known as high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes. If you feel your blood pressure may be high, schedule an appointment with Dr. Patricia G. Gao. She provides quality, preventive care to patients at her private practice in Glen Burnie, Maryland.

High Blood Pressure Q&A

How do you know if you have high blood pressure?

Because high blood pressure is often asymptomatic, you usually don’t feel it. To figure out if you have high blood pressure, schedule a visit with Dr. Gao. Patients experiencing extremely high blood pressure sometimes have uncommonly severe headaches, difficulty breathing, poor exercise tolerance, and chest pain. If you’re suffering any of these signs, seek treatment as quickly as possible.

How is blood pressure measured?

During a physical exam, Dr. Gao can check your blood pressure with a type of equipment known as a sphygmomanometer. A sphygmomanometer consists of a stethoscope, arm cuff, dial, valve, and pump. Your blood pressure levels are measured in millimeters of mercury. Digital blood pressure monitors provide electronic blood pressure readings. Your findings are recorded as systolic pressure over diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure represents the higher pressure when your heart is contracting. Diastolic pressure signifies the lower pressure when your heart is relaxed.

How is high blood pressure related to your weight?

Being overweight can increase your odds of developing high blood pressure. Fortunately, losing even a small amount of weight can make a huge impact in helping to prevent and treat this common condition.

How is high blood pressure treated?

To effectively treat high blood pressure, following a healthy diet, managing portion sizes, and exercising regularly is essential. If your blood pressure is high, Dr. Gao may recommend you follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. Men suffering from hypertension are advised to limit their alcohol consumption to no more than 2 drinks per day. Both women and people aged 65 and older are encouraged to drink no more than 1 alcoholic beverage each day.

If you struggle with portion control, consider starting a food journal. Writing down the foods and beverages you consume every day can highlight areas where you need to improve. Strive to do some form of moderate exercise on most days of the week. Running a marathon isn’t required. Simply taking a stroll around your neighborhood can get your heart pumping and help you decrease your blood pressure levels. In addition to making lifestyle changes, taking medications can help you control your blood pressure levels. To ensure good control of your blood pressure, Dr. Gao may suggest medication treatments, lab tests, and frequent follow up visits.

Insurance

We accept the majority of health insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see yours listed or have any other questions.

AARP
Aetna
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
APWU
Assurant Health
Bankers Life and Casualty Company
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal
Blue Cross Blue Shield Horizon
Care Improvement Plus
CareFirst
CHAMPVA
Cigna
CoreSource
Corvel
Coventry Health Care