Health Issue: Hypertension
Treatment and Care
Most of the time, hypertension/high blood pressure can be controlled with medicine and lifestyle changes. The goal of treatment is to reduce blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of complications. Exercise, weight loss, and following a healthier diet are all ways of preventing and treating hypertension. If you have pre-hypertension, your doctor will recommend the same lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.
Your doctor may also tell you to exercise, lose weight, and follow a healthier diet. If you have pre-hypertension, your doctor will recommend the same lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.
Often, a single blood pressure drug may not be enough to control your blood pressure, and you may need to take two or more drugs. It is very important that you take the medications prescribed to you. If you have side effects, your health care provider can substitute a different medication.
Blood pressure measurements are the result of the force of the blood produced by the heart and the size and condition of the arteries.
Many factors can affect blood pressure, including:
- How much water and salt you have in your body
- The condition of your kidneys, nervous system, or blood vessels
- The levels of different body hormones
High blood pressure can affect all types of people. You have a higher risk of high blood pressure if you have a family history of the disease. High blood pressure is more common in African Americans than Caucasians. Smoking, obesity, and diabetes are all risk factors for hypertension.
Most of the time, no cause is identified. This is called essential hypertension.
High blood pressure that results from a specific condition, habit, or medication is called secondary hypertension. Too much salt in your diet can lead to high blood pressure. Secondary hypertension may also be due to:
- Adrenal gland tumor
- Alcohol abuse
- Anxiety and stress
- Birth control pills
- Coarctation of the aorta
- Cocaine use
- Cushing syndrome
- Kidney disease, including:
- Appetite suppressants
- Certain cold medications
- Migraine medications
- Hemolytic-uremic syndrome
- Henoch-Schonlein purpura
- Periarteritis nodosa
- Pregnancy (called gestational hypertension)
- Primary hyperaldosteronism
- Renal artery stenosis
- Retroperitoneal fibrosis
- Wilms' tumor