These measures can help with high blood pressure
As blood pressure rises over the years, people often take one or more medications to lower it. But what can be done if medication to control blood pressure is insufficient?
While high blood pressure can often be successfully lowered with medication and lifestyle changes, resistant high blood pressure is not that easy to treat. The hypertension expert Dr. George Thomas of the Cleveland Clinic explains the pitfalls of cardiovascular disease and what people can do about it.
What Makes High Blood Pressure So Dangerous?
Hypertension is also often called silent killer designated. This is due to the fact that high blood pressure often goes unnoticed due to the lack of obvious symptoms, but the risk for Heart attack and stroke the doctor reports. So it is quite possible that people suffer from high blood pressure without knowing about it themselves.
What is Resistant Hypertension?
Resistant hypertension is when the high blood pressure difficult to control even with the help of medication, explains Dr. Thomas. “Resistant hypertension means that you will not reach your target blood pressure even though you are adhering to the maximum tolerated dose of a suitable three-way regimen that contains a diuretic,” explains the expert.
In other words, when people have high blood pressure and are taking the maximum dose of three different blood pressure medications including a diuretic, and the Blood pressure is still not at a safe level, there may be resistant hypertension. In such a case, according to Dr. Thomas needed additional measures to keep blood pressure under control.
Difficulty diagnosing resistant hypertension
Diagnosing resistant hypertension is not always easy. It is important to get a consistently accurate reading, but this can sometimes be problematic, reports the medical professional. There are various reasons why inaccurate readings can occur:
- the blood pressure cuff is too small,
- There was insufficient rest time before the measurement,
- Affected people suffer from so-called white coat hypertension (high blood pressure due to restlessness in the doctor’s office),
- or sick people have smoked or drank caffeine immediately before the blood pressure measurement, which can affect the values.
If all of these factors can be ruled out and the blood pressure is still high, then Dr. Thomas presumably had resistant hypertension.
What Causes Resistant Hypertension?
The expert explains that resistant hypertension is in many cases a question of lifestyle and that medication can only take over part of blood pressure control. When looking for the cause, healthcare professionals will probably first examine four possibilities.
Lifestyle as a risk factor
Smoking, a high-sodium diet, high alcohol consumption, obesity, and lack of exercise can make medication unable to counterbalance the effects of these behaviors, explains Dr. Thomas in one Press release der Cleveland Clinic.
Other medication problems
It is also possible that drugs taken for other health problems contribute to resistant hypertension. NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen), oral contraceptives and nasal decongestants can increase blood pressure, reports the expert.
The specialist advises that you should bring all the packaging for any medication you have taken with you to your doctor’s appointments – including over-the-counter products, such as herbal food supplements or vitamin supplements.
Resistant hypertension thanks to obstructive sleep apnea
According to Dr. Thomas now also has indications that obstructive sleep apnea can contribute to resistant hypertension. A sleep examination should therefore be medically ordered here if those affected have problems with sleep.
If lifestyle factors and medication can be ruled out as the cause by health care professionals, other causes related to hormones or vascular problems can be looked for, the medical professional adds.
This is how resistant high blood pressure can be overcome
Dr. Thomas lists various tips below for a better management of high blood pressure:
- Hypertension medication should be taken correctly and at the scheduled time.
- In the event of unpleasant side effects after taking medication, medical advice on alternatives should be sought, and the medication itself should not be discontinued.
- The diet should contain as little sodium as possible (less than 2.3 grams per day) and a lot of fruit, vegetables, whole grain products and lean protein (so-called DASH diet).
- Exercise regularly and, if you are not physically fit, first seek medical advice and then slowly start an exercise program.
- Alcohol consumption is to be limited.
- Affected people should be able to measure their blood pressure independently at home. Medical staff can help set up a monitoring plan. Measurement results should be recorded and presented to medical advice. In addition, the blood pressure monitor should be checked for accuracy at least once a year.
Dealing with high blood pressure is not always easy, but the changes mentioned above are well worth the effort. They will go a long way towards reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, adds Dr. Thomas added. (as)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
- Cleveland Clinic: High Blood Pressure? What To Do When Your Medication Isn’t Enough (veröffentlicht 26.02.2021), Cleveland Clinic
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.