Treatment of Hypertension
Usually, hypertension treatment begins with lifestyle changes, such as becoming more physically active, cutting back on salt, and following a healthy eating plan. Drinking less alcohol and losing weight can also help in treating this condition. While these lifestyle changes may be enough for some people, others may require blood pressure medications, such as beta blockers.
Anyone can develop hypertension (also known as high blood pressure). In fact, more than 65 million Americans have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, in more than 90 percent of cases, the causes of hypertension are not known. But hypertension research scientists have found certain lifestyle changes that can lower blood pressure. For those people who cannot lower blood pressure to a "normal" level through lifestyle changes, treatment of hypertension may also involve hypertension medication.
By receiving treatment for this condition, people can reduce the long-term effects of high blood pressure, including heart attacks, stroke, and kidney failure.
Lifestyle changes that may play a part in hypertension treatment include:
- Being more physically active (walking 30 minutes each day can help)
- Eating foods with less salt and sodium
- Losing weight (if you're overweight, even losing 10 pounds can help)
- Drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation
Following a healthy eating plan that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods (see DASH Diet).
Treating Hypertension Through Blood Pressure Medication
In addition to lifestyle changes, hypertension treatment for some people may include blood pressure medication. There are many different high blood pressure medications; each one works in a slightly different way. People often react to medications in different ways, so you may need to try a few different types of hypertension medications before your doctor finds the best medicine for you.
If your doctor prescribes medication as part of your treatment, take your pills exactly as directed. Even if you feel well, you still need to take your medicine. It is impossible to feel the damage that could be occurring inside of your body until it is too late.