Hypertension treatment guidelines have been developed over the years to help patients live longer and fuller lives with minimal health risks.
Hypertension is a disease that affects millions of people each year - often without them even being aware of it. If left untreated, hypertension can put you at risk for heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and damage to other major organs. See eye symptoms of high blood pressure for more details on the many ways in which hypertension can affect the eyes.
If treated, however, the chances of each of these conditions can be dramatically reduced. For example, reducing your levels of hypertension can reduce your chance of a stroke by 40 percent or more. In a like manner, the proper hypertension treatments can less your odds of heart attacks, kidney problems, and a host of other related illnesses.
This is one reason why having an annual physical exam is so important. With hypertension, the sooner the diagnosis is made and the faster treatment begins, the better it is for you.
Natural Hypertension Treatment
What Level Of Hypertension Do You Have?
There are various levels of hypertension. And, the way blood pressure is shown is by systolic pressure over diastolic pressure. For example, the lowest, and most benign stage, is pre-hypertension which is usually specified as 120 to 139 systolic pressure over 80 to 89 diastolic pressure. This is usually specified in shorthand as 120-139/80/89.
The other levels of hypertension are hypertension (approximately 140/90 ), stage 1 hypertension (approximately 140-159/90-199 ), and stage 2 hypertension ((approximately 160+/100+ ). You can keep track of your own blood pressure with a simple digital wrist blood pressure monitor.
If your blood pressure is in the pre-hypertension stage, it is a sign that you should start to make minor changes to your diet in order to stave off hypertension. If your tests show that you are in stage 1 hypertension, you should look at making major changes in your diet as well as placing focus on becoming more physically fit. And, if you have stage 2 hypertension, in addition to diet and exercise modifications, prescribed medication will probably be required to bring your blood pressure down to safe levels.
Hypertension Has More Than One Cause
The causes of hypertension vary, which is another reason why treatments will vary as well. For example, some forms of hypertension are caused by an underlying medical condition. And once that specific condition disappears, the hypertension will often disappear as well.
Natural Hypertension - Exercise
A perfect illustration of this is pregnancy. High blood pressure and pregnancy are often linked. Often, during certain periods of her pregnancy, a woman become hypertensive. After the baby is born, however, in most cases, her blood pressure will return to normal. Likewise, morning high blood pressure is usually higher than it will be throughout the rest of the day.
Another example of temporary hypertension is where a person may be undergoing some types of unusual stress. Possibly she is going through a divorce which is taking an unusual emotional toll on her body. As a result, during this period, her blood pressure may become extremely elevated. But, once she is out of that situation, her blood pressure may return to normal.
In other cases, heredity plays a huge part in whether you will get hypertension or not. In the usual case, however, hypertension is caused by a combination of poor eating habits and insufficient activity.
Various Treatments For Hypertension
Treatment of hypertension is not a one size fits all affair. In milder cases, a simple lifestyle change of eating habits and exercise may be enough. In moderate cases, it may be necessary to impose strict eating habits and an aggressive exercise program. And, in more serious cases, it may be necessary to take prescribed medicines.
Reduce Hypertension By Reducing Your Salt Intake
Most health experts agree that lessening the amount of sodium in your diet will help greatly in both controlling your high blood pressure and preventing it from becoming higher.
Fortunately, today, nearly all processed foods have labels which clearly illustrate the salt content. A person with hypertension should reduce the daily intake of sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day or less. If you have pre-hypertension or have normal high blood pressure levels and want to prevent yourself from getting hypertension, try to limit you daily sodium intake to 2,400 milligrams a day or less.
Exercise And High Blood Pressure
Obesity and being overweight are proven risk factors for hypertension. As a result, if you want to reduce your blood pressure, one of the most effective ways is to increase your activity levels.
Of course, diet is also important in lessening hypertension. But, it is also true that by merely exercising more and getting your weight down, you can significantly decrease your hypertension risk factor. In addition, if you already have high blood pressure, by exercising, you can often lower it naturally.
Some of the best types of exercises for improving your cardiovascular health are aerobic exercises such as running, swimming, and the like. But even non aerobic type exercises such as stretching can help to improve the elasticity of your blood vessels and correspondingly help to reduce the pressure on them.
Exercise and losing weight can be especially effective in those with mild hypertension. In these mild cases, it can sometimes eliminate the need for medications altogether.
Medications And Hypertension
Research has proven that it is possible to lower blood pressure without drugs. However, most doctors will prescribe synthetic medications. Following are some of the most common medications that doctors prescribe for their patients who have hypertension.
Diuretics - the use of diuretics to reduce hypertension goes back decades. They work mainly by flushing excess salt from the body through urine. Although effective for milder forms of hypertension, some forms also excrete potassium and other important minerals along with the salt. Therefore, if your doctor places you on a diuretic, see if he will prescribe one that does not excrete much potassium from the body.
For men, another possible problem with diuretics is that some studies have linked their use to erectile dysfunction. So, if you experience problems in this area, let your doctor know as soon as possible so he can place you on alternative medications.
Beta-blockers - the class of medications known as beta-blockers are called "blockers" because they actively "block" the effects of adrenaline on the beta receptors of your body. This slows down the nerve impulses that affect the heart. And, the slowing down of these impulses mean that your heart does not have to work as hard - thus decreasing your hypertension levels.
The primary drawback to this type of medication is that it raises your blood sugar. As a result, if you have diabetes, you should be wary of taking beta-blockers. However, a diabetes and high blood pressure diet can often help to get your blood pressure down. In addition, if you don't have diabetes, because of their effect on blood sugar, taking these types of medications increases your risk of developing diabetes.
Calcium channel blocker - there are two main types of calcium channel blockers - Dihydropyridine and Non-dihydropyridine. Only your doctor can prescribe which category is best for you.
These medications are referred to as calcium channel blockers because they work to control or "block" the amount of calcium that enters the heart and arteries of the body. This reduction of calcium allows the blood vessels to relax which reduces how hard the heart has to work which reduces the blood pressure.
Angiotensin - this class of medications work by blocking AT-1 receptors. In the bloodstream, these receptors act to constrict blood vessels. Angiotensin drugs block their effect which allows blood vessels to relax and allow blood to flow through it more freely.
Importance of Monitoring Your Progress
When being treated for hypertension, it is important to see your medical care specialist at regular intervals to follow up on your progress. Many patients, once their blood pressure begin to normalize after treatment, slip back into their old lifestyle habits. And, since hypertension often has no obvious symptoms, they inadvertently put themselves back at risk. Hypertension treatment follow ups help you to avoid becoming complacent.
In between trips to the doctor, it is also a good idea to use home blood pressure monitors to keep track of your hypertension. Many of these devices will also record your readings in their memory banks which your doctor can access to get a more complete understanding of your overall blood pressure health. It can also be extremely useful in monitoring the effects of medications and calibrating the amounts needed for best results.