How to Treat High Blood Pressure
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 13, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
How to Treat High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a chronic illness that affects more and more adults year after year. It is a condition in which their blood pressure readings are above 140/90 mm/Hg. In hypertension, the heart has difficulty in pumping blood against a high pressure which may be due to a blockage, narrowing of the arteries and veins or due to metabolic and hormonal disorders.
Hypertension is diagnosed using a sphygmomanometer with readings taken at least one week apart. If you have an elevated blood pressure reading for more than 2 weeks at a time, consult a doctor at once for diagnosis, management and treatment of high blood pressure.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
There are 2 main types of hypertension: primary and secondary.
Primary hypertension is high blood pressure without any obvious medical cause. This can be due to stress, increased physical activity, smoking, abusing alcoholic beverages, taking prescription medication that can increase blood pressure readings, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and many other factors.
Secondary hypertension on the other hand is high blood pressure that is due to an identifiable medical condition such as kidney diseases, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, tumors, pregnancy and the chronic use of medications that can cause hypertension. The use of illegal drugs can also cause high blood pressure as well.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
A reading of 140/90 mm/Hg within a 2 to 3 week period is a symptom of high blood pressure. Other symptoms are headaches, drowsiness, pain at the nape of the neck, lightheadedness, confusion, vision changes, nausea and vomiting. In secondary hypertension, high blood pressure is a determining symptom for a medical illness.
Treatments of High Blood Pressure
Initially, a person who has high blood pressure must be advised to rest and discontinue any type of physical activity. Make the person lie down with his head elevated to improve his blood pressure. If he is taking medications for hypertension, administer the medication and closely follow up on his condition. Medical consult should also be taken if a person develops severe symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness and especially if medication is not able to reduce the high blood pressure.
Prescription medications to reduce blood pressure or antihypertensive drugs are the most common medications prescribed by doctors today. There are several classes of medications for high blood pressure such as ACE inhibitors, alpha blockers, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin II receptor antagonists, to name just a few. These act to dilate narrow blood vessels to improve blood flow and reduce high blood pressure readings. Secondary hypertension may be a lifetime illness and maintenance antihypertensive medications are usually prescribed.
Other actions to be taken in How To Treat Hypertension are meant to improve the life of a person with high blood pressure. Lifestyle changes should include stopping smoking, decreasing alcohol intake, reducing caffeine intake, managing stress effectively and making wise and healthy food choices as these are all meant to reduce high blood pressure. A low sodium diet is always recommended to people suffering from hypertension as well as the intake of foods and supplements that are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium are recommended. Living a more active lifestyle through exercise, sports and various physical activities can also lower a high blood pressure as well as reduce the risk of developing chronic cardiovascular diseases as a result of high blood pressure.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan