Skip to main content

High Blood Pressure Specialist


Cardiologists & Vein Care located in Santa Monica, CA

Roughly 34% of adults have high blood pressure, yet many aren’t aware of the problem, which means they also don’t know if an underlying endocrine disorder causes it. Dr. Alan Kim at the Test Practice specializes in getting to the cause of your high blood pressure, including finding hormone imbalances that contribute to the problem. If you have questions about high blood pressure, call one of their offices in Santa Monica, CA or Venice, CA, or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.

High Blood Pressure Q & A

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against artery walls. Your blood pressure depends on three variables: the total volume of blood in your cardiovascular system, the strength of your heart muscles, and the health of your arteries.

Why is high blood pressure dangerous?

High blood pressure is dangerous for two reasons. First, untreated high blood pressure damages blood vessel walls, causing roughened areas where cholesterol accumulates.

When cholesterol accumulates, it hardens, and forms plaques. The plaques can block blood flow or form clots, raising your risk of a heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

The second reason high blood pressure is dangerous is that it sneaks up on you. It doesn’t cause symptoms until you develop chest pain or other symptoms due to cardiovascular disease.

What lifestyle issues lead to high blood pressure?

It’s often possible to lower your blood pressure by making changes to the lifestyle factors that cause high blood pressure, or hypertension. These factors include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diet high in salt
  • Diet low in potassium
  • Chronic stress
  • Smoking cigarettes

What is secondary hypertension?

Secondary hypertension refers to high blood pressure caused by an underlying medical condition. Obstructive sleep apnea and chronic kidney disease can lead to high blood pressure.

Hypertension also arises from problems in your endocrine system. A few examples of hormones that can cause high blood pressure include: 

  • Aldosterone: high aldosterone levels cause kidneys to retain salt and water while eliminating potassium, which raises blood pressure
  • Insulin: insulin resistance is associated with hypertension
  • Cortisol: high cortisol levels constrict blood vessels, increasing blood pressure
  • Thyroid hormones: chronically high and low thyroid hormones can cause hypertension
  • Parathyroid hormone: too much of this hormone raises blood levels of calcium, which leads to hypertension
  • Estrogen: estrogen helps blood vessels relax; when levels drop, your risk for hypertension increases

Why is it important to see an endocrinologist for persistent hypertension?

High blood pressure is so common that doctors who aren’t endocrinologists are likely to follow the typical treatment protocol without exploring the possibility of an underlying hormone problem. Meanwhile, endocrine hypertension accounts for 5-10% of all cases of secondary hypertension (cases that may go undiagnosed).

If a hormone imbalance is the cause of your hypertension, you need expert treatment from an endocrinologist like Dr. Fernandez, so don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment online.