If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension), then you probably have also been made aware of its risks, which include serious health events like stroke, heart failure, heart attacks and kidney disease. To avoid these grave conditions and improve your health, it is necessary to lower your high blood pressure to a healthier number. How high blood pressure is treated, the target blood pressure reading and seriousness of hypertension depend greatly on the patient’s age, medical history, lifestyle and other health conditions.
So, How Is High Blood Pressure Treated?
Hypertension treatments generally fall into three categories:
1. Lifestyle Adjustments
After an initial high blood pressure reading and hypertension diagnosis, your healthcare provider will likely discuss making some adjustments to your overall lifestyle. These healthy habits will include things like:
- Losing Weight
- Eating Healthy
- Reducing Sodium Intake
- Managing Stress
- Getting Enough Sleep
- Giving Up Tobacco
- Reducing Alcohol Intake
The type of lifestyle you lead and habits you form have a surprisingly powerful effect on your health. Although forming new, healthy habits can be a tough change to make, doing so could ultimately save and improve your life.
2. Hypertension Medications
Depending on your specific blood pressure reading, current health, medical history, age and family medical history, your doctor might prescribe you a medication to help regulate and lower your blood pressure. Several types of hypertension medications exist, and they work in different ways to manage blood pressure. These include:
- Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
- Calcium Channel Blockers
- Central Agonists
- Combination Medications
- Direct Renin Inhibitors
- Peripheral Adrenergic Blockers
These anti-hypertensive medications will not cure high blood pressure, but they all work in different ways to lower and regulate blood pressure. Some patients require a combination of medications to effectively manage high blood pressure, and doctors work with patients through a trial and error process to identify which medications and doses will work best to effectively manage each patient’s individual case of hypertension.
3. Addressing Underlying Conditions
For some people, high blood pressure is completely related to lifestyle, age or genetics. For others, hypertension is a symptom of an underlying condition. With the latter group, hypertension is most successfully treated by addressing the primary health problem. Medical conditions which can cause hypertension include:
- Kidney Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Adrenal Gland Disorders
- Thyroid Disorders
- Medication Side Effects
In addition to treatment for an underlying condition or perhaps changing a medication, your doctor will probably recommend making lifestyle adjustments and also might prescribe medication to manage your blood pressure while you undergo treatment for the condition that is responsible for raising your blood pressure readings.
Once you begin a treatment plan for high blood pressure, you will likely be asked to schedule regular monthly check up appointments with your doctor until you reach a regulated healthy blood pressure reading. No matter the cause of your high blood pressure and the details of your hypertension treatment plan, following your doctor’s orders and prescription’s directions exactly as prescribed is essential to properly managing hypertension and preventing a more serious heart problem in the future. If you have any further questions on how is high blood pressure treated, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.