Reducing the Risks of the Silent Killer: Treating High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is an extremely common ailment – some sources suggest that at least 1 in 3 Americans are afflicted with the disease. Unfortunately, there are not many observable symptoms of high blood pressure, most people who suffer from the disease only find out because a routine check shows their blood pressure is abnormally high.
Patients may have high blood pressure for many years without being diagnosed, and if left untreated high blood pressure can lead to many serious consequences, including heart attack, kidney failure and stroke.
Fortunately, there are effective ways of treating high blood pressure. These include a number of options and techniques, one of which will certainly work for most patients.
Treating High Blood Pressure: Drug therapy
The most common way of treating high blood pressure is with prescription medications. There are a variety of different types of drugs available, and because high blood pressure is a common ailment, new drugs are being developed all of the time.
In the vast majority of cases, doctors can develop a regimen for treating high blood pressure, however finding just the right combination of drug, dosage amount and dosage schedule can be a challenge. Initial treatment often requires a lot of experimenting and follow up testing, so be prepared for a delay in finding the right drug / combination of drugs for you.
Treating High Blood Pressure: Lifestyle Changes
Three major areas of habits can impact high blood pressure, and therefore can be crucial for treating high blood pressure: diet, exercise and stress. A diet high in fats (especially saturated and trans-fats) leads to clogging of the arteries – restricting artery size increases blood pressure and also causes tissues inside arteries to tear.
In fact, reducing fat intake (including eliminating all fried foods) may be the single more important lifestyle change for treating high blood pressure.
Increasing exercise can also help alleviate blood pressure. Increased exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system and lowers cholesterol levels in the blood. Further, temporarily increasing blood flow can help reduce the restriction in arteries caused by poor diet.
Finally, reducing stress may also be useful in treating high blood pressure. There are many stress reduction techniques to consider and consulting a professional is probably your best bet to decide which would work best for you. Some options include meditation, yoga, exercise and visualization and hypnosis. Some people have also reported success with biofeedback.