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 HYPERTENSION CARE


  
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The force applied by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels is known as blood pressure. The most common blood pressure values for a healthy adult human are approximately 120 mmHg systolic and 80 mmHg diastolic. However, normal blood pressure varies from person to person. In some people, the blood pressure levels fluctuate widely, either rising or falling to abnormal levels. As this may lead to other health problems such as heart disease, it is important to always keep blood pressure under control. Some common steps to reduce high blood pressure are -

Hypertension cannot be cured, but it can be managed effectively. It is important to take the proper medication, adopt a healthy lifestyle and monitor your condition. The following is some information you may wish to discuss with your doctor.

1. MEDICATION
2. LIFESTYLE CHANGES
3. CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR
4. EMERGENCY HELP
Medication
 Medications can be very effective in controlling your hypertension. The five main types of hypertension medication are:
  • Diuretics. These are also called water pills, such as hydrochlorthiazide and chlorthalidone. They help to eliminate excess fluid from the body and reduce blood pressure. These drugs are inexpensive and have been shown to reduce the likelihood of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and kidney disease.
  • Beta blockers. Examples are atenolol, bisoprolol and metoprolol. These drugs lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and kidney disease.
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I). Examples of these converting enzyme inhibitors are ramipril, enalapril, captopril, and lisinopril. They lower blood pressure and prevent heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and kidney failure. Some people using these drugs develop a cough as a result of the medication. For these patients, an angiotensin-receptor blocker may be substituted.
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB). These include candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, telmisartan, and valsartan. These drugs also have been shown to reduce blood pressure, and prevent heart failure and kidney disease.
  • Calcium channel blockers, such as verapamil, amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, and nifedipine, reduce blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Medications can be very effective in controlling your hypertension. The five main types of hypertension medication are:
  • Diuretics. These are also called water pills, such as hydrochlorthiazide and chlorthalidone. They help to eliminate excess fluid from the body and reduce blood pressure. These drugs are inexpensive and have been shown to reduce the likelihood of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and kidney disease.
  • Beta blockers. Examples are atenolol, bisoprolol and metoprolol. These drugs lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and kidney disease.
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I). Examples of these converting enzyme inhibitors are ramipril, enalapril, captopril, and lisinopril. They lower blood pressure and prevent heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and kidney failure. Some people using these drugs develop a cough as a result of the medication. For these patients, an angiotensin-receptor blocker may be substituted.
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB). These include candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, telmisartan, and valsartan. These drugs also have been shown to reduce blood pressure, and prevent heart failure and kidney disease.
Calcium channel blockers, such as verapamil, amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, and nifedipine, reduce blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Remember: Medications do not cure hypertension, but only keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Never stop taking your medications without first consulting with your doctor.
  • Never skip a dose, even if you are feeling better.
Always speak with your doctor if you have medication side-effects that bother you
Lifestyle Changes
Excess abdominal fat can lead to hypertension. Waist circumference, on average, should be less than 102 cm (40") for men and less than 88 cm (35") for women.
Body-mass index can also be used. Body-mass index (BMI) is the relationship between a person's height and weight. Research shows that people with a BMI higher than 25 tend to be more at risk to experience heart problems or weight-related health problems. However, this measure is not as good as waist circumference for assessing the risk of developing complications of hypertension.
Your BMI can be determined by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres (e.g. 61 kg / 1.5 m x 1.5 m = 27).
The table below shows your risk of hypertension based on your BMI and waist size.

Risk of Associated Disease According to BMI and Waist Size

BMI

--

Waist less than or equal to 102cm (40") for men or 88cm (35") for women

Waist greater than 102cm (40") for men or 88cm (35") for women

18.5 or less

Underweight

--

--

18.5 - 24.9

Normal

--

--

25.0 - 29.9

Overweight

Increased

High

30.0 - 34.9

Obese

High

Very High

35.0 - 39.9

Obese

Very High

Very High

40 or greater

Extremely
Obese

Extremely High

Extremely High

Reduce Salt Intake

Salt intake should be no more than 4 grams per day. The average daily salt intake in North America is about 8.7 grams per day. Reducing salt intake can prevent hypertension and lower elevated blood pressure.

Lead a Smoke-Free Life
Stop smoking and eliminate exposure to second hand smoke.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Limit your Consumption of Alcohol

Talk to your doctor about your alcohol consumption and your elevated blood pressure.

When to Consult your Doctor

See your doctor if:
  • you are experiencing side effects from your hypertension medications;
  • your blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or higher on two or more occasions; and/or
  • you develop uncomfortable or disturbing side effects from any medication taken for high blood pressure.
When to Seek Emergency Help
Seek emergency help if:
  • your blood pressure is 180/110 mm Hg or higher;
  • you have a sudden, severe headache;
  • you have chest pain; and/or
  • your blood pressure is usually normal (or under control), and it suddenly goes well above the normal range on more than one occasion.

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