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MANAGING YOUR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE THROUGH DRUGS

If you don’t suffer from high blood pressure personally, odds are that you know someone who does. And if you don’t know someone who has high blood pressure, you very well must know about the terrible impact it can have on the human body, thanks to the deluge of articles that exist on high blood pressure.

For the sake of definition, a high blood pressure is one that is persistently higher than normal, and not just a one-off occurrence. A person is thus considered to have high blood pressure when he or she has a number higher than 140 over 90.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

The primary causes of high blood pressure are excessive salt intake, less than adequate physical activity, lack of/inadequate fruit and vegetables in diet, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity. Other contributory factors are age (as we get older, blood pressure has a tendency to increase), ethnic origin (people of African-Caribbean and South Asian descent are at greater risk), and family history (People who have had other members of their families have high blood pressure are at greater risk as well).

HOW TO SPOT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

You cannot detect high blood pressure by simply looking at someone, as there are usually no warning signs. It is considered a silent killer for the very simple reason that you may have it without even realizing it. The only way to diagnose hypertension is to check specifically for it.

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HOW TO PREVENT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Healthy lifestyle choices to make to prevent high blood pressure includes maintaining a weight that is healthy, reducing your salt intake, eating a balanced diet, exercising more often, and limiting your alcohol intake.

MANAGING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE THROUGH LIFESTYLE CHANGES

There are a few lifestyle changes you can make/implement to lower your blood pressure, and they include exercising more often, cutting out salt completely, indulging in foods that are rich in potassium, consuming less caffeine, losing weight if overweight, quitting smoking, and limiting your intake of added sugar and refined carbs.

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It is however important to understand that it is easier to manage high blood pressure that is diagnosed on time through lifestyle changes. For people suffering from very high blood pressure, simply changing your lifestyle habits may not give you the required result of a lower blood pressure.

You will definitely need to adopt a medical approach to managing your high blood pressure in addition to implementing the lifestyle changes mentioned above.

MANAGING YOUR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE THROUGH MEDICATION

As part of a unique solution designed to fit your personal health needs, your doctor may determine that you need prescription medication on top of lifestyle changes to control your hypertension.

Many blood pressure medications, also known as antihypertensives, are available through prescription to lower high blood pressure but what you might not easily know is that there are several classes of medications, each including a number of different drugs.

The classes of blood pressure medications include:

Diuretics:  These assist your body to get rid of the excess salt and water, and are often used together with other prescriptions. Common brand names include Hygroton, Diuril and Microzide.

Beta-blockers: These reduce your heart rate, as well as its workload and by so doing lower blood pressure. Common brand names include Lopressor, Kerlone and Zebeta.

ACE inhibitors: Short for Angiotensin-converting enzyme, ACE inhibitors helps your body to produce less angiotensin, which is a chemical that makes your arteries to become narrow over time. Your blood vessels thus relax more and open up and blood pressure is lowered in the process. Common brand names are Capoten, Vasotec and Lotensin.

Angiotensin II receptor blockers: These set of hypertensive drugs work by blocking the effects of angiotensin. Angiotensin needs a receptor to fit into or bind with, and these blockers block such receptors so that the angiotensin fails to constrict the blood vessel. Blood vessels stay open in this case and blood pressure is reduced. Common brand names are Avapro, Micardis and Teveten.

Calcium channel blockers: This stops calcium from entering the smooth muscle cells of your heart and arteries, and thus stops your heart from having stronger and harder contraction. Common brand names include Adalat and Canan.

Alpha blockers: These work to reduce the arteries’ resistance, and works instead to relax the muscle tone of the vascular walls. Common brand names include Hytrin and Minipress.

Alpha-2 Receptor Agonists: This set of drugs reduce blood pressure by decreasing the activity of the sympathetic portion of the involuntary nervous system. Methyldopa is one of the most common brand name of this set of drugs.

Combined alpha and beta-blockers: These are often used as an IV drip for patients experiencing a hypertensive crisis. Common brand names include Trandate and Coreg.

Central agonists: These help decrease the blood vessels’ ability to tense up or contract and by so doing accomplish blood pressure reduction. Common brand names include Aldonel and Catapres.

Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors: These drugs reduce blood pressure by blocking neurotransmitters in the brain and blocking your smooth muscles from receiving the “message” to constrict. They are rarely used except other medications have failed. Common brand names include Ismelin, Serpasil and Hylorel.

Blood vessel dilators: Usually sold under the brand names Apresoline and Loniten, blood vessel dilators cause the muscle that is in the walls of the blood vessels to relax, thus allowing the vessel to widen and allowing for better blood flow.

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IMPORTANT NOTES TO TAKE

You must understand that treating high blood pressure requires time, patience and care. Here are a few important notes to take concerning managing your blood sugar:

  • Don’t insist that your physician prescribe you very specific drugs. What works for your friend might not work for you.
  • Take medications for your high blood pressure exactly as prescribed.
  • You may need more than one prescription. This is because different drugs do different things in the body.
  • Be patient even if it takes a while to find the right combination of medication for you.
  • Tell your doctor if you have side effects. This is because different people can respond very differently to medications.
  • Keep your appointments because it is important to monitor your progress and make adjustments to your treatment as needed to keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Be okay with treating high blood pressure for life. While there are exceptions to this rule, it is rare for the treatment to be stopped entirely.
  • Never cut back on or quit taking your prescribed medication without your physician’s knowledge even if you’re feeling fine.

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