[toc]There was a time when medication for hypertension wasn’t prescribed for patients before their BP reached a staggering 160/100. All BP levels below that mark were considered to be benign and mild hypertension. Doctors were of the opinion that the side effects of hypertension medicines would outweigh the possible impact of untreated hypertension.
However, over the years, such theories have been proved false. Research has shown that there is no such thing as mild hypertension if the blood pressure goes up to 140/90. In such cases the patient must be given immediate medical attention and prescribed drugs, if necessary. Some of these treatments will be discussed in this article.
5 Tips To Treat Hypertension
Also known as ‘water pills’, diuretics are one of the oldest and most economical medicines used for treating cases of hypertension. These help your kidneys in eliminating excess of sodium as well as water from your body.
This in turn reduces the volume of blood and your heart is now required to pump less blood with every beat. It ensures a drastic decrease in your BP level. Diuretics are of two kinds – loop diuretics and thiazide diuretics. They act on different parts of the kidney tubules.
These drugs are known to lower the BP by restricting the action of epinephrine and nonepinephrine (hormones which increase blood pressure). They relax the blood vessels and significantly reduce the contractions of the heart. They are divided into two categories–beta and alpha blockers.
Beta blockers do not allow certain neurotransmitters (such as epinephrine) to activate heart cells and thus lower the heart rate and subsequently the blood pressure. Alpha blockers work much in the same way, except that they inhibit the action of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine.
These are known for relaxing the arteries in quick time and therefore, commonly used in cases of emergency. But due to their tendency to retain fluid and increase heart rate, physicians generally prescribe direct-acting vasodilators with another hypertension drug which slows down the palpitating heart.
Any anti-adrenergic drug can be used as a supplement for that purpose. Minoxidil and hydralazine are generic names of two of the most common direct-acting vasodilator drugs. Their side effects may include headache, tiredness and nausea.
ACE inhibitors took the pharmacies by storm in the early 80s as it proved to be an extremely effective class of drugs for hypertension patients. These drugs are known to deactivate angiotensin-converting enzyme (which raises BP by retaining sodium and water) which further facilitates the disposal of excess sodium and water from the body.
They are highly recommended due to the less number of side effects they produce in patients. But, pregnant women and people suffering from any kidney disorder should consult a doctor before using them.
Direct Renin Inhibitors
Direct renin inhibitors have been used for treating hypertension for over thirty years now. They are so-called as they restrict the action of renin in the body. Renin is an enzyme that causes higher levels of angiotensin II in the body retaining much of the sodium and water content. Renin inhibitors therefore allow the body to do away with this excess of sodium and water and thus lower the blood pressure.
They also keep your BP steady all through the day. Hypertension is a serious condition and becoming increasingly common in people aged 35 and older. But, it’s effective treatment is possible and as this article shows there are several ways to go about it.