People who suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension) are a high risk group for stroke and several other dangerous conditions. These patients usually require lifelong treatment and some serious lifestyle changes to keep their blood pressure under control.
If you want to keep your blood pressure within reasonable limits, you must follow a healthy diet and reduce the amount of alcohol you consume. You will also need to quit smoking and stay physically active. Though, bear in mind, that some exercises can exacerbate your condition. This means that you should discuss your workout plan with a health care professional to be sure it's safe.
Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet. This alone will allow you to reduce blood pressure for 2-8 mm Hg. You can do this by cutting down on processed foods and excluding salt from your meals. This will take some time to get used to, so you should gradually ease into the change by limiting the amount of salt in your food.
Proper stress management is another important factor that will affect your high blood pressure treatment. If you cannot solve this problem on your own, you should seek the help of your family or counseling.
Medicines You Will Need to Take
Although, healthy lifestyle changes will improve your overall condition, they usually aren't enough to control blood pressure. Thus, you will need to take some additional medicines.
The most common drugs used for hypertension are:
- ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors
Angiotensin is a chemical that causes blood vessels to constrict. It's produced by your body, so you will require some chemical means to control this process.
These drugs are safe for people with diabetes and heart disease, and they can even have some additional positive effect on these patients. However, pregnant women as well as people who suffer from some kidney and artery problems should avoid taking these pills.
The most known side effect to ACE inhibitors is a chronic cough.
- Angiotensin receptor blockers
Instead of regulating the production of angiotensin, these drugs block its effect. They are similar to ACE inhibitors in the other regards.
These medicines may cause dizziness.
These drugs increase the amount of salt and fluid in your urine. This allows you to reduce blood pressure and relax your vessels a little. You will only need a bit of diuretics for treating hypertension, so the frequency of your urinating won't change much.
These pills cannot be taken by people who suffer from some conditions that affect kidneys.
In some rare cases, diuretics can cause gout attacks and erectile dysfunction.
These drugs are used for treating a number of conditions, such as: hypertension, angina, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc. They slow down your heart rate, thereby reducing the intensity of your blood flow.
Beta-blockers can cause some serious side effects, for example, insomnia, impotence, chronic tiredness. Therefore, you should never take them without consulting a doctor first.
In order to produce better effect, different groups of hypertension medicines can be combined. If you develop some side effects, consult your doctor about changing some parts of the treatment plan.
The combination of medicines used in your case will need to be designed according to your personal needs. The choice of drugs will be affected by:
- Your age and build
- Health conditions that you suffer from
- Your ethnicity
- Other medications you have to take on a regular basis
High Blood Pressure Treatment for Children and Teens
Hypertension can affect both adults and children alike. Teenagers and younger kids should start treatment with lifestyle and dietary changes. If this doesn't produce the required effect, they will also need to take medicines.
The vast majority of drugs used for treating hypertension can be prescribed to children, but the dosage will need to be adjusted according to the child's age and weight.