Tackling Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association says nearly half of all American adults have high blood pressure. That number jumped dramatically when guidelines from the heart association and 10 other health organizations redefined high blood pressure as 130 over 80 late last year. It had been 140 over 90 since the early 2000s.

ABOVE: Dr. Ehsan Ghods checks a patient’s blood pressure.

Lowering the target blood pressure rate increases the number of people who will be warned about the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other serious health problems, noted NorthBay Healthcare family medicine practitioner Ehsan Ghods, D.O.

“Hypertension (high blood pressure) can cause organ damage if it is not treated and controlled. It can lead to congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, stroke, coronary artery disease. The bad thing about it is that it causes no symptoms. That’s why it’s called the silent killer,” he said. “One of the most common comments I hear from patients with blood pressure issues is, ‘But I feel fine.’”

The good news is that there is something you can do to prevent and fight high blood pressure: control the risk factors. If you smoke, quit. Lose weight, exercise, avoid sodium in your diet and make sure you get a restful night’s sleep, said Dr. Ghods.

Here’s the Scoop

The Center for Primary Care in Green Valley is located at 4520 Business Center Drive in Fairfield and includes an internal medicine provider, two family medicine doctors, a psychologist and a pediatrician. It is the newest of the three centers for primary care facilities in the NorthBay Healthcare system, opening its doors in 2014. The center occupies the second floor. The building is also home to Health at Home, Hospice & Bereavement, and Gastroenterology. Call (707) 646-5500 for an appointment.


Oh, Baby!

Rachel Villalon, M.D.
Rachel Villalon, M.D.

Obstetric gynecologist Rachel Villalon, M.D., offers appointments twice a month on the second and fourth Thursdays. Dr. Villalon will guide you through your pregnancy or consult on specific gynecological issues. All you need is a referral from your primary care physician.

On the Menu

Registered Dietitian Laura Hitt is at the Center for Primary Care in Green Valley every Wednesday afternoon, providing access for nutrition services directly to patients. A referral from your primary care doctor is required and an initial consult will last about an hour. Followup appointments are 30 minute sessions individualized to each patient. She can also help develop a meal plan for patients.

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