Some of the best
treatments for high blood pressure may involve incorporating lifestyle
changes. Some good examples are that people should maintain a
desirable body weight and exercise regularly. Also, many experts are
recommending not drinking more than two ounces of alcoholic beverages
(24 ounces of beer, 10 ounces of wine, or 2 ounces of whiskey) a day,
and limiting the intake of salt. It wouldn’t hurt, if people also
learned to manage their stress a little better. Lifestyle changes are
also a helpful part of your daily treatment of high blood pressure
even if antihypertensives are needed, because it allows you to use
lower doses of the medication.
Treatment of your
high blood pressure may also require that you consider that another
medical condition may be one of the underlying problems. If a drug is
causing your high blood pressure you may want to discontinue it if you
If these lifestyle
changes do not help, you may need one or more antihypertensive drugs.
Currently, about three fourths of people with high blood pressure have
to take antihypertensive medications.
There are several
types of antihypertensive drugs that are available and effective
treatments for high blood pressure. When selecting the most
appropriate medication doctors consider several factors including the
severity of the high blood pressure, whether there are other risk
factors for heart attacks (such as diabetes or abnormal cholesterol
levels), and whether the heart has been damaged. They also look at
whether side effects may occur. Older people taking antihypertensive
medications can actually make blood pressure fall too low in certain
situations, for example, causing them to become dizzy when standing
up, a disorder which is called orthostatic hypotension. They
immediately become lightheaded and sometimes fall. Many
antihypertensive drugs are effective and are frequently relatively
free of side effects. Some people take more than one type of high
blood pressure medication.
(such as hydrochlorothiazide) are often given initially. The
diuretics may help to decrease the amount of water and salt excreted
by the kidneys and may expand (dilate) your blood vessels. These
medications have been found to be tremendously effective in assisting
with the treatment for high blood pressure.
beta-blockers are given at the beginning of your treatment of high
blood pressure. They slow the heart rate and reduce its
contractions. Beta-blockers and diuretics reduce the risk of heart
attacks, heart failure, kidney failure and strokes.
Page #2 Effective treatment of
High Blood Pressure
Adapted from information from the Merck Manual of Health and Aging
Additional Information and
webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate