The MultiCare Mary Bridge Nephrology clinic evaluates and treats children with hypertension (high blood pressure). Approximately 5 percent of children have high blood pressure.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a medical condition in which blood pressure is elevated. Blood pressure is the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries.Blood pressure has a top and a bottom number:
There are many reasons children may have high blood pressure:
The normal blood pressure for a child is based many variables — including age, height and gender. The doctor will use a chart to determine the best blood pressure for your child.
Most children do not have any symptoms of high blood pressure. Some children may experience the following:
Younger children may be irritable and have changes in their behavior. They may also show changes in school performance.
To help understand your child’s condition, your doctor will ask lots of questions and do a physical exam. He/she may also do some urine and/or blood tests. Your doctor may also want some blood pressure readings from home, which should be written down on a blood pressure log.
Your doctor may also order:
In addition to treating the underlying cause of your child's high blood pressure, lifestyle changes are an important part of the treatment plan.
Here are more resources to obtain these goals:
Some children need medicine to help lower blood pressure. Your doctor will discuss which medicine may be best for your child.
High blood pressure that is not treated will slowly and surely damage the body over time. A person may not have symptoms or be aware that this is happening. This includes damage to your heart, brain, blood vessels, kidneys and eyes.