Skye likes writing about mental health, nutrition, and wellness. She is passionate about sharing information that will educate, and positively affect people's lives.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
February 4, 2021
The best treatments for high blood pressure, also called hypertension, are medication and, in many cases, a simple change in lifestyle. For instance, increasing physical activity and reducing cholesterol intake can be great steps for hypertension treatment.
Nearly half of all Americans suffer from high blood pressure. “The resulting health problems from high blood pressure can include heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, and memory loss and cognitive decline,” according to John Hopkins Medicine.
High blood pressure is often caused by
It can come on suddenly or get worse over time.
Healthy blood pressure falls in the range below 120/80.
Anything above that falls into a state of hypertension can land someone in the emergency room.
When you seek high blood pressure treatment, you can reduce the chances of having a stroke by nearly 40%, heart failure decreases by 50%, and a heart attack by 25%.
If you or someone you love is dealing with or might have high blood pressure, there are plenty of treatment options available.
Read on to learn the best treatment options for high blood pressure, from medications to life-style changes, and how to find a doctor for convenient and affordable help.
There are several types of medicinal treatment routes you can take to control your blood pressure. Similar to antidepressants, patients sometimes need to try a few different medications to find one that works.
Others may use a combination of drugs to keep their blood pressure in a safe and healthy range.
Here are a few of the most common drugs available and their subsequent categories.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors help the body reduce angiotensin II, a hormone that can affect blood vessels. When you have too much of this hormone, your blood vessels can become narrow and cause high blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors allow blood vessels to expand so that blood flows more freely, lowering blood pressure in the process.
Some of the commonly prescribed ACE inhibitors are:
Beta-blockers allow the heart to pump less blood through the blood vessels, naturally causing blood pressure to lower.
Some of the most popular beta-blockers doctors prescribe are:
The most commonly prescribed medication for high blood pressure is diuretics. They are commonly referred to as water pills.
Diuretics work to help the body rid the kidneys of extra water and salt. Sodium is known to be a major culprit in hypertension. For this reason, research suggests that people with high blood pressure should adopt a low-sodium diet.
Diuretics also allow less blood to pass through blood vessels, which in turn lowers blood pressure. Some doctors will prescribe a combination of multiple medications to combat hypertension for select patients.
There are three types of diuretics, including:
Calcium channel blockers lower blood pressure by inhibiting how much calcium your heart absorbs. Lower calcium absorption slows your heart rate and results in lower blood pressure.
This treatment option for high blood pressure also allows your blood vessels to relax and loosen. When all of this happens together, blood pressure lowers to a safer level.
Some calcium channel blockers frequently used are:
In addition to the medications listed above, there are several more treatment options that can help control blood pressure.
Here are various other alternate treatments you can talk with your doctor about:
Whether you’ve been prescribed medication to control your blood pressure or not, you can incorporate daily changes to lower it naturally.
By leading a healthier lifestyle, you can naturally improve the condition of your hypertension. Some of these may be easier than others, but all of these are worth trying to lower your blood pressure.
Blood pressure is known to get higher along with the number on the scale. While medications work great, losing weight is the lifestyle change that will reduce your blood pressure the most. For every two pounds you lose, blood pressure tends to decrease by 1 mmHg.
Starting a new exercise routine can be intimidating, but the benefits often outweigh the dread of exercising. Thirty minutes a day of moving your body can decrease your blood pressure by up to 8mm Hg.
If you have hypertension, working out can bring your blood pressure into a healthy range. Even going for a walk can be beneficial. You can talk with a doctor about creating a particular exercise program that works best for you.
Smoking has no health benefits whatsoever. Every time someone finishes a cigarette, blood pressure begins to increase. In addition to lowering your blood pressure, quitting the habit can reduce the chance of heart disease, cancers, and several other health issues.
A doctor can help make quitting easier with smoking cessation medications such as Chantix.
Professionals recommend consuming 2,300 milligrams or less of sodium a day. Reducing sodium you ingest can quickly drop your blood pressure by 5 to 6 mm Hg.
Your doctor might put you on a low-sodium diet, which involves having 1,500 mg of salt or less a day. Salt can be hidden in many foods, so it’s a good idea to start reading all food labels.
Depending on your situation, you won’t need to make a drastic change in sodium consumption all at once. Remember that the body needs some sodium, and too little can be a bad thing as well.
Experts go back and forth on whether caffeine plays a role in high blood pressure. Even if you rarely consume caffeine, you’re much more likely to be affected by it. If you’re unsure if caffeine is something you should monitor, drink a cup of coffee or green tea and check your blood pressure 30 minutes later.
A slight increase may be a sign that you are caffeine-sensitive.
If you’re concerned about your health or feel you may have hypertension, check with a doctor online. Virtual consultations are easy, affordable, and have all the benefits of an in-person consultation.
Online doctors can write prescriptions for hypertension medication legally and safely. You can meet with a board-certified doctor online securely from your phone or computer with our partners at PlushCare. The average hypertension appointment lasts 15 minutes.
With PlushCare, 97% of hypertension conditions are successfully treated on the first visit.
Click here to book an appointment with a doctor.
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