Understanding Blood Pressure & Hypertension Part 3: Treatment Options
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a serious condition that affects millions of people in the United States every year. We’ve been travelling down this journey of hypertension to better understand it, first, we looked at what it is and how to identify it. Then we looked at the symptoms, causes, and risks of living with it.
If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, there are a variety of treatment options available to help you control your blood pressure and protect your health. Now let’s discuss steps you can take starting today to decrease those risks and protect your health.
Treatment for High Blood Pressure
To lower your risk of developing hypertension or if you have hypertension and are looking to reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, or other conditions, it’s important to take steps to manage your blood pressure. This may include making changes to your lifestyle or taking medications.
Lifestyle Changes for Managing Hypertension
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for developing hypertension. Losing even a small amount of weight can help reduce your blood pressure.
Eating a Healthy Diet
Eating a diet that is high in fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean protein can help lower blood pressure. You should also limit your intake of salt, saturated fats, and added sugars.
Getting Regular Exercise
Exercising for 30 minutes or more on most days can help lower blood pressure. You don’t have to start out exercising for 30 minutes. You can work up to it by starting with 10-minute increments and gradually increasing the amount of time you exercise each day.
Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Finding ways to reduce stress, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing, can help lower your blood pressure.
Smoking is a major risk factor for developing hypertension. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Limiting Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.
Making some simple lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, limiting your alcohol intake, getting more exercise, and reducing your stress levels, can help you manage your blood pressure.
Medication Options for Hypertension
If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to lower your blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication. There are a variety of different medications that can be used to treat hypertension, and your doctor will work with you to find the best option for you.
Common medication options include:
Diuretics are also called water pills. They help your body get rid of extra salt and water. This decreases the amount of work your heart has to do and lowers blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors prevent a substance called angiotensin from forming in your body. Angiotensin narrows your blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure. ACE inhibitors also help your kidneys get rid of salt and water, which helps lower blood pressure.
Beta-blockers slow down your heart rate and make it easier for your heart to pump blood. This lowers blood pressure and reduces the strain on your heart.
When living with high blood pressure, it’s important to take steps to manage your condition and protect your health. Consult with your primary care physician to see if this is a beneficial option for you. With the right lifestyle changes and treatments, you can control your blood pressure and enjoy a healthier, happier life. Want to learn more about how Centric Home Health and Hospice care for patients that may have hypertension or are travelling on other health journeys?
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