Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition that may lead to other health problems like heart disease. When you have hypertension, the blood is forced against the artery walls. Blood pressure is measured by the volume of blood that the heart pumps and the level of resistance of the blood flow in the arteries.
If your heart pumps more blood into arteries that are narrow, then you will have high blood pressure. Long-term effects of hypertension include stroke and heart attack.
How Is Hypertension Diagnosed?
In measuring the blood pressure of an individual, a pressure-measuring gauge is used. To do this, an inflatable arm cuff will be placed around the arm. The blood pressure reading is in mm HG or millimeters of mercury and has two numbers. The upper number is the measurement of the pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating. It is called systolic pressure. The lower number is the measurement of pressure in the arteries in between heartbeats. It is called diastolic pressure. There are four main categories of blood pressure measurements.
- Normal Blood Pressure: A normal blood pressure measurement is at 120/80.
- Elevated Blood Pressure: You have an elevated blood pressure if you have a systolic pressure of 120 to 129 while your diastolic pressure falls below 80.
- Hypertension Stage 1: When the range of your systolic pressure is at 130 to 139 and your diastolic pressure is 80 to 89, you have hypertension stage 1.
- Hypertension Stage 2: This type of hypertension is severe. You can have a systolic pressure of 140 or higher and your diastolic pressure is 90 or higher.
Available Medications for Hypertension
There are various ways to manage hypertension including medications and lifestyle changes. Several medications for hypertension are available to ensure that your blood pressure will be at a normal range.
Sometimes, one medication is enough to control high blood pressure. However, there are cases where a combination of drugs is necessary to keep hypertension at bay. Here are the meds commonly prescribed to treat hypertension.
This medication is also called water pills. It helps the kidneys in getting rid of any excess water as well as salt. When this happens, there is less volume of blood needed to pass through your blood vessels. It will result in your blood pressure going down.
With this medication, the heart beats with less force and speed. The blood pressure begins to decrease because the heart is pumping less blood through your blood vessels.
This medication offers a combination of effects. What this drug does is that it decreases the constriction of the blood vessels while also slowing down the force and rate of the heartbeat.
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACE)
This drug helps your body in producing less angiotensin II. This hormone is what causes your blood vessels to become narrow. This hypertension treatment also helps the blood vessels to expand so that more blood can flow. The result is that your blood pressure drops to the normal range.
This hypertension treatment helps in relaxing the muscles in your blood vessel walls including the arterioles or smaller arteries. It widens your blood vessels so that blood can flow easily. Your blood pressure will then drop to the normal range.
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Hypertension
To help your body stay fit and healthy, you need to make some lifestyle changes. While medications for hypertension are available, you still have to do your part so that your blood pressure stays within the normal range. Here are some of the steps that you can take to manage hypertension.
- Eat less salt
- Keep track of what you eat
- Eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat
- Walk around your neighborhood in the morning
- Drink more water and less soda and alcohol
- If you smoke, cut back on your smoking until you can quit altogether
- Manage your stress by learning how to be mindful. Try meditating
- Delegate tasks. Don’t micromanage
- Sleep well so your mind and body can rest
- Go to your doctor for a regular checkup
Hypertension can be managed for as long as you eat healthy foods, sleep well, and not allow stress to take over your life. If your doctor prescribes you medication, make sure that you follow through. Treating hypertension early on will ensure that you don’t develop any health complications such as heart disease.
When you get your prescription, don’t hesitate to ask us about it. We will be happy to assist you so that you can start taking the right medications for hypertension.