A diagnosis of high blood pressure or hypertension is worrying due to its dangerous medical implications. Failure to control it can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and heart disease. Of particular concern is the fact that hypertension itself presents no noticeable symptoms giving it the name, the silent killer.
This means that someone with hypertension can have the condition and it is untreated for years. By the time they become aware of it their health is compromised. They may display signs of decreased liver function or heart disease before medical tests pinpoint the underlying cause.
Current statistics suggest that roughly one of every three persons suffers from hypertension. Changes in lifestyle such as increased exercise and improved diet is helpful in treating the condition. Often, doctors will prescribe blood pressure medicine in addition to sufferers having to adjust their lifestyle habits.
The Effectiveness of Blood Pressure Medicine
The accessibility of medications to treat the condition means that it is possible to control it. The vast majority of sufferers can get back to their normal routines as long as they take the medication as directed.
In many cases, using the prescribed blood pressure medication for life might be necessary. In some cases, sufferers prefer to try a combination of natural remedies and lifestyle changes such as exercise and dietary changes.
High blood pressure means that the force of the blood against the wall of the arteries has become elevated. The aim of some types of medication in the treatment process is to reduce this pressure in different ways, including:
* Beta blockers slow the heart rate, so the organ does not have to work as hard
* Diuretics help the kidney to remove excess sodium and fluids from the body
* Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) keep calcium which can cause blood vessels to constrict out of the heart muscles
* Vasodilators work to relax the blood vessels thereby making it easier for the blood to pass through and lowering the pressure
In some cases, natural remedies and traditional medications go well together in the treatment of the hypertension. Depending on the type of natural treatment, you should talk with a medical practitioner before starting in the event the herbs and prescription meds react negatively.
Understanding Side Effects
As important as prescription medication is to the health of sufferers, it is not without side effects. For the most part side effects are not severe enough to warrant changing the medication. Reported reactions to using blood pressure medicine include:
* Irregular heartbeat
* Sexual dysfunction
* Upset stomach
Anyone taking medication for hypertension should report these and other problems experienced to their doctor immediately. The doctor may suggest a change in medication or may choose to lower the dosage. Failure to report problems sometimes result in patients not taking their medication, as they should.
Controlling High Blood Pressure Through Lifestyle Changes
Exercise is important in the control of the condition in everyone and not just for older people or those who are overweight. Even seemingly fit people can be diagnosed with hypertension. Making dietary changes is essential to successfully controlling hypertension. It is necessary to restrict nutrients like sodium and high fat foods that can contribute to weight gain.
Potassium rich foods, on the other hand, relax blood vessels thus reducing the risk of developing other health conditions resulting from hypertension. Some natural sources of potassium are bananas, apricots, spinach and tuna. Potassium in supplement form should taken be used after receiving medical advice.
The best way to deal with high blood pressure is to be in control of your health as much as possible. This means not only eating a balanced diet and exercising, but also getting regular checkups. Many patients never have to use blood pressure medicine again after a successful course of treatment and starting on a healthy lifestyle regimen.