High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is a common challenge among adults around the world. Today, statistics show that hypertension is most prevalent in Japan and Northern China. Over the years, many solutions have been explored to fight the implications of high blood pressure on the body. Some of these strategies range from taking beneficial herbs and foods to using supplements. However, in the case of severe hypertension, doctors usually recommend blood pressure medications for the patient.
Antihypertensive drugs are powerful and must only be taken with a doctor's prescription. In most cases, patients are recommended to use high blood pressure medications as a last treatment option. However, using antihypertensive drugs is an excellent option for people who do not want to make lifestyle modifications or use supplements. This article highlights the basic information about some types of medications used to treat high blood pressure.
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What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force with which the blood presses against the arterial walls as it circulates. However, this force is greater than normal in a person with high blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure causes the arterial walls to narrow and thicken, thus, putting extra strain on the heart. Note that Blood pressure fluctuates even in healthy individuals. It tends to increase with physical activity, excitement, fear, or emotional stress. Factors like obesity, alcohol and sugar intake, and hereditary and ethnic factors all increase risk of hypertension. Symptoms of hypertension include headaches, shortness of breath, poor cognition, and dizziness.
Types of High Blood Pressure Medications
Diuretic drugs lower blood pressure by helping the body eliminate excess fluids through urination. Sometimes, the frequent urination caused by this type of medication can be annoying. However, diuretics are the oldest and most established antihypertensive drugs. Diuretics are often prescribed as "first line" drugs and may be combined with one or two other blood-pressure-lowering drugs. Diuretics also help to widen blood vessels to encourage a free flow of blood. Depending on the patient, a doctor may recommend a high-potassium diet or prescribe potassium supplements since the diuretics may reduce potassium levels too much. Side Effects Of Diuretics Include:
Increased blood sugar, especially for people with diabetes
Reduced libido and/or impotence.
Beta Blockers is the short form of "beta-adrenergic blockers." This type of drug lowers blood pressure by slowing heartbeat, and the amount of blood pumped. The beta-blocking drugs are mostly recommended to patients who have suffered a heart attack. Research studies show that taking these drugs for at least one year after a heart attack can help to prevent a second event. Beta blockers are also used to treat heartbeat disturbances called arrhythmias. They work by blocking the effects of heart-stimulating substances such as adrenaline and decreasing the production of adrenaline in the brain. Some Side Effects of this type of High blood pressure medication Include:
Reduced exercise capacity
3.ACE (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme) Inhibitors
The ACE inhibitors prevent constriction of blood vessels. This function makes blood vessels to widen, thus decreasing resistance to the flow of blood, which in turn lowers blood pressure. Side effects of ACE may include:
A skin rash or other allergic reaction.
A loss of taste.
A chronic dry cough.
Possibly kidney damage.
However, note that ACE inhibitors are generally well-tolerated in our bodies.
Renin is an enzyme that helps in the production of a substance which influences blood pressure. So, what renin inhibitors does is that they help to prevent overproduction of renin. As a result, there is less blood-pressuring stimulating substance in the body. Due to the effect of renin inhibitors, the risk of high blood pressure becomes low. There are also reports that this antihypertensive drug has low side effects and could be used conveniently with other blood-pressure reducing supplements.
5.Calcium Channel Blockers
This type of antihypertensive drug is also called "calcium antagonist." What they do is that they block the passage of calcium into the heart and blood vessels. Too much calcium in the circulatory system has been observed to restrict the free flow of blood. Thus, calcium channel blockers reduce the passage of calcium into the heart. This allows for greater ease of blood flow and lowers blood pressure. Doctors also prescribe calcium channel blockers to treat heartbeat irregularities and chest pain. Side effects of this drug include:
Palpitations of the heart
Headaches and dizziness.
As the name implies, these drugs open arteries by relaxing muscles in the walls of the vessels. As a result, dilating drugs allow for greater blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Some side effects may include headaches, swelling around the eyes, heart palpitations, and joint pain or achiness. These effects may lessen after you take the drug for a few weeks.
Which Drug Is Best?
The answer to this question depends on certain factors such as the cause of high blood pressure, the unique medical history and the symptoms suffered by the patient. However, some doctors prefer to start with a diuretic and add other drugs as needed. This group of doctors believe that diuretics work better in protecting against heart attacks and stroke. Other doctors choose to initiate therapy with an ACE inhibitor. However, it is generally believed among doctors that no single drug will completely cure hypertension. Thus, it is best to consult a qualified doctor for regular advice and prescriptions for the treatment of hypertension.
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