Hypertension–What You Need to Know

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is generally defined as having a baseline blood pressure above 140/90. Many people live for years with hypertension without knowing it, but there can be serious complications.

Complications

  • Heart disease–when the heart has to struggle to pump, it can go into what is known as congestive failure, a potentially fatal condition. Angina, or chest pain, can occur when the heart does not get enough oxygen.
  • Stroke–high blood pressure can cause balloon-like outpouchings in arteries in the brain. When these aneurysms burst a stroke can occur, causing crippling or even death.
  • Kidney failure–many blood vessels carry blood through the kidneys to have toxins removed from the blood. Too much pressure can damage the kidneys.
  • Sexual dysfunction–high blood pressure can cause low libido in women and erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Peripheral artery disease can lead to pain, cramping, and tiredness.
  • Poor vision can result from damage to blood vessels in the eyes and swelling of the optic nerve, which carries pictures from the eye to the brain.
  • Hypertensive crisis is a medical emergency caused by extremely high blood pressure.

Prevention–making healthy lifestyle choices

  • Maintain normal weight
  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies, nuts, beans, and whole grains.
  • Perform physical activity daily.
  • Avoid smoking and excess alcohol

Medications– the basics

  • Diuretics–increase urination, lowering pressure by lowering amount of fluid in the blood vessels: spironolactone (Aldactone), hydrochlorothiazide (Hydrodiuril, Microzide), furosemide (Lasix)
  • Beta blockers–relax and slow down the heart and dilate blood vessels: atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta), metoprolol, nadolol, propranolol (Inderal)
  • Calcium channel blockers–relax heart and blood vessels: amlodipine (Norvasc, Lotrel) diltiazem (Cardizem CD, Cardizem SR, Dilacor XR, Tiazac) felodipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, nisoldipine, verapamil
  • ACE inhibitors–block blood pressure-raising enzyme produced by kidneys: captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, ramipril
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers–help keep arteries open: candesartan (Atacand) eprosartan (Teveten) irbesartan (Avapro) losartan (Cozaar) telmisartan (Micardis) valsartan (Diovan)
  • Alpha blockers–relax muscle tone of blood vessels: doxazosin (Cardura) prazosin (Minipress) terazosin (Hytrin)
  • Central agonists–lower blood vessels’ ability to contract
  • Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors–lower blood vessel contraction
  • Blood vessel dilators–relax blood vessels

QuickMD is able to prescribe the appropriate medications to you and our doctors are experts in the treatment of hypertension. Create an account and talk to a doctor immediately.

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