Monday, April 24, 2017

Managing High Blood Pressure


Millions of people around the globe have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension and it is one of the most common risk factor for stroke and heart attack. High blood pressure can also lead to damage to the blood vessels leading to kidney problems, aneurysms as well as damage to the eyes. It is very important to prevent, control and treat hypertension appropriately.

Guidelines For Target Blood Pressure:

The new guidelines recommend the following target for controlling high blood pressure:
  • among adults age 60 and older with high blood pressure, aim for a target blood pressure under 150/90.
  • among adults age 30 to 59 with high blood pressure, aim for a target blood pressure under 140/90
  • among adults with diabetes or chronic kidney disease, aim for a target blood pressure under 130/80.
Management:Managing high blood pressure involves diet changes, exercise, life style changes and if requires certain medications.

1. Loosing extra weight: Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Loosing just 10 pounds helps reduces the blood pressure. Beside just loosing weight it is important to keep an eye on the waistline since carrying too much weight around the waistline leads to an increase in blood pressure.

2. Regular Exercise: Exercising regularly has a great impact on preventing and controlling high blood pressure. Even moderate activity for 10 minutes at a time or just walking may alos help a lot.

3. Eating A healthy diet: Aim to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and high fiber food. avoid fatty foods and also limit sugar intake.

4. Reduce Sodium In the diet: Even a small reduction of sodium in the diet can help reduce blood pressure greatly. Avoid eating processed food like chips and fast food items that are high in sodium content.

5. Manage Stress: Stress or anxiety can temporary lead to a high blood pressure. Try to figure out what is stressing you out and try to cope up with the stressor in a healthier way.

6. Cut Back On Caffeine, Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco Products:
7. Medications: If blood pressure could not be controlled just by life style changes and exercise sometimes a need for medications arise. the medicines used to treat high blood pressure are briefly summarized below:

 - Diuretics: Also know as water pills help body get rid of unwanted water and salt through excretion in urine. Getting rid of excess fluid reduces blood pressure and the stress on the heart.
ACE inhibitors: Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors are the drugs that dilate the blood vessels to help improve blood pressure. ACE inhibitors are also effective in slowing down the decline of renal function. Common drugs in this group are captopril, enalapril, lisinopril.
 - Angiotensin II receptor Blockers: These drugs have almost the same effect as ACE inhibitors but work by a different mechanism and are used for patients who cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors due to certain side effects. The common drug in this group is Losartan.
 - Calcium channel blockers: These drugs are used to lower blood pressure that work by a mechanism in which the movement of calcium in the cells of the heart and blood vessels is slowed down and so it makes easier for the heart to pump and widens the blood vessels. Common drugs in this group are Amlodipine, Diltiazem, Nifedipine.
 - Beta blockers: These drugs decrease the blood pressure by blocking the effect of sympathetic nervous system on heart. Drugs include Atenolol. metoprolol. Beta blockers are no longer recommended as first line drugs due to certain side effects.
 - Benzodiazepines: Although controversial benzodiazepines do help in lowering blood pressure in some patients. They work as agonist on GABA receptors of brain slowing down the neurotransmission and dilating blood vessels. These drugs also help to control anxiety and stress that may be contributing to the high blood pressure.

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