Hypertension treatment is something that most doctors don’t like to think about. We are all so used to the convenience of taking drugs that many adults simply don’t realize that they can take steps to manage their disease. A blood pressure reading will not be much help when attempting to figure out what medication should be taken. It can be a real nightmare trying to figure out which BP monitor will work best and what type of daily exercise regimen works best. Here are some tips for adults with high BP who want to get back on the path to health.
If high blood pressure is the cause of a stroke or heart failure, then it’s best to treat it early so that it does not worsen. There is a drug therapy known as beta-blockers that helps reduce the amount of stress on the heart. Combined with lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, lowering stress, and losing weight, beta-blockers can prevent a stroke or heart failure. If you are at risk for either one of these diseases, talk to your doctor about hypertension treatment that includes drug therapy.
Some individuals with heart disease have a condition known as metabolic syndrome. This means that they have a variety of health problems combined. They may include high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, excess stomach acid, kidney problems, and diabetes. Because these individuals already have a problem with excessive glucose in the bloodstream, the use of antihypertensive drug therapy is particularly important. Doctors often prescribe a low dose, or an alternative such as a potassium channel blocker.
For other adults who are not at risk for heart disease, antacids are often used. Lowering the level of acid in the system helps prevent atherosclerosis, the buildup of scar tissue around the internal organs. However, antihypertensive medicines, including beta-blockers, often have unpleasant side effects. Some patients report nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, muscle weakness, dizziness, and fast heart rate. Some people on diuretics often find that they cannot exercise because the side effect of urination is rapid heartbeat.
High-risk patients may need to take a higher dosage of an antihypertensive drug therapy if their resting heart rate is greater than 70 beats per minute. In addition, some adults with hypertension may have to lose weight, quit smoking, or cut back on the amount of salt they ingest to lose weight. At the initial visit with the physician, he or she will perform a screening to determine the severity of the patients symptoms, such as weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. At this time, the physician will also discuss the patients’ eligibility for various classes of antihypertensive drugs. Some individuals have to wait up to three years before they are eligible for the last stage of the antihypertensive treatment; however, most individuals are eligible within five to seven years of the screening.
Some individuals are candidates for at least one of the following classes of antihypertensive agents. If left untreated, heart failure could develop, which would mean that the patient would no longer be able to take medications to lower their blood pressure. If left uncorrected, heart failure could also cause death. The first class of antihypertensive agents is called calcium channel blockers; these drugs prevent the increase of calcium levels in the body by preventing the channels in the arteries from being open.
At the second stage of the third-line antihypertensive drug treatment, individuals are given medications called diuretics, which dilate the vessels in the body. These medicines help people avoid the accumulation of fluids in the body and rid it of toxins and extra fluid. Individuals who receive this first-line treatment for adults with high blood pressure have a significantly lower risk of developing heart problems or dying from them.