For appointments or questions call (540) 283-6000.


Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects about 70 million adults and 2 million teens and children in the United States. It often has no symptoms and is usually found through routine screenings at the doctor’s office.

Contact Information
Molly Rutherford, M.D., FACC

Jefferson Surgical Clinic
1234 Franklin Rd. S.W.
Roanoke, VA 24016

Phone: (540) 283-6000

Be Aware of these Symptoms

Contact your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms, which can indicate dangerously high blood pressure:

  • Severe headaches
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Problems with vision
  • Chest pains
  • Breathing problems
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine

When blood pressure is high, the heart has to work harder to pump.  The excess pressure of blood pushing against the blood vessel walls can cause damage to them and to the organs they serve. People with high blood pressure are at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke (brain), renal failure (kidneys), and aneurysm.

Reduce Your Risk of Hypertension

Some high blood pressure is genetic or a result of normal aging. Even so, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, or to help reduce your blood pressure if it is high, you can:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat less processed and packaged foods
  • Limit sodium intake
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products
  • Drink moderately, if at all
  • Manage stress
  • Work to achieve or maintain a healthy weight
  • Ask your doctor about medications, such as birth control pills, that might raise blood pressure
  • Manage any conditions, like diabetes and kidney disease, that can contribute to blood pressure problems

If your high blood pressure cannot be managed with lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe medicine to reduce blood pressure. It is important to take these medications as directed. Failure to do so can result in complications, stroke, and even death.