Essentials Of High Blood Pressure Medication
In addition to changes in lifestyle and diet, those suffering from hypertension will most likely need to take high blood pressure medication. Unfortunately some people think that they can manage their hypertension without taking high blood pressure medication; this isn’t a wise choice unless it’s approved by your physician. High blood pressure medication is very safe and effective and can save your life.
What Are The Types Of High Blood Pressure Medications?
A diuretic is a drug that increases urination by riding your body of salt, or sodium chloride. Urination shrinks the volume of blood circulating in your system, thus reducing your blood pressure. Before prescribing any other type of high blood pressure medication, your physician may first try you on a diuretic; this alone may correct your hypertension. If you’re a morning coffee drinker, you’ve been using one of the best diuretics known: caffeine. But wait! It isn’t that simple. Unfortunately, the type of urination produced by caffeine isn’t helpful in ridding your body of salt. Stick with what your doctor prescribes.
Angiotensin-coverting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are a preferred class of drugs for treating hypertension. These drugs target your kidneys and focus on a series of chemical reactions that raise your blood pressure. ACE inhibitors interfere with, or inhibit, these chemical reactions and lower your blood pressure. Since their development in the 1980’s, many ACE inhibitors are combined with diuretic medications that increase your urine output thus avoiding the dangerous bloating that often accompanies hypertension. Bloating increases your risk of heart attack.
Another high blood pressure medication class of drugs is Beta blockers. These drugs are probably the ones your physician will first suggest to lower your blood pressure. Beta blockers are the work horses of their class; they also are effective in treating heart disease and prevention of migraine headaches. Beta blockers lower your blood pressure by reducing the amount of blood pumped into your circulatory system, blocking nerves and hormones that raise blood pressure, relaxing small arteries and re-setting your body’s thermostat for blood pressure. Unlike most other drugs, Beta blockers can be used safely during pregnancy.
The third type of high blood pressure medication is a calcium channel blocker. This class of drug is perfect for treating hypertension due to kidney disease and diabetes. They act primarily by dilating small arteries that play important roles in maintaining blood pressure levels. Unlike other hypertension medications, calcium channel blockers need to be taken only once per day, so you won’t have to keep track of noon and nighttime doses.
All medications have side effects, of course. Fortunately, high blood pressure medication has few serious side effects.
Beta blockers and ACE inhibitors can be taken together if your physician believes you need to quickly lower your blood pressure before you experience a stroke or heart attack.