Moderately high blood pressure
These are some of the most common drugs for treating high blood pressure: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitorsACE inhibitors block the actions of some hormones, such as angiotensin II, that regulate blood pressure. Angiotensin II causes the arteries to constrict, and increases blood volume, resulting in increased blood pressure.People with a history of heart disease, pregnant women or individuals with conditions that affect the blood supply to the kidneys should not take ACE inhibitors.Doctors may order a blood test to determine whether the patient has any pre-existing kidney problems. ACE inhibitors can reduce the blood supply to the kidneys, making them less efficient, therefore regularly blood tests are required.ACE inhibitors may have the following more common side effects, which usually go away after a few days:izziness
fatigueweaknessheadachespersistent dry cough that may continueSome patients may find the side effects too unpleasant or long-lasting. In such cases doctors will switch to an angiotensin-2 receptor antagonist. Side effects are less common, but may include dizziness, headache and increased potassium levels in the blood.Calcium channel blockersCalcium channel blockers (CCBs), among other things, decrease the calcium in blood vessels. A drop in calcium relaxes the vascular smooth muscle so that it does not contract so strongly, resulting in the widening of arteries. If the arteries are wider blood pressure will drop.Patients with a history of heart disease, liver disease, or problems with circulation should not take calcium channel blockers
Calcium channel blockers may have the following more common side effects, which usually go away after a few days
redness of the skin, usually over the cheeks or neckheadaches
swollen ankles, feet, and more rarely the abdomen
Thiazide diuretics act on the kidneys to help the body eliminate sodium and water, resulting in less blood volume – less blood volume results in lower blood pressure. They are often the first choice in high blood pressure medications (but not the only choice).
Thiazide diuretics may cause the following side effects, some of which may persist
low blood potassium which can affect kidney and heart functions.impaired glucose toleranceerectile dysfun ctionPatients taking thiazide diuretics should have regular blood and urine tests in order to monitor blod sugar and potassium levels.
Patients aged 80 years or over may be given indapamide (Lozol), a special type of thiazide diuretic which helps reduce death from stroke, heart failure and so mother cardiova sculardi seases. Beta-blockers were once very widely used for the treatment of hypertension. Because they have more potential side effects than other current hypertensive drugs, they tend to be used today when other treatments have not worked.
They slow the heart rate as well as reducing the force of the heart, resulting in a drop in blood pressure.
Beta-blockers may have the following side effects:
cold hands and feet
The side effects below are also possible, but less common:
5) Renin inhibitors
Aliskiren (Tekturna, Rasilez) reduces renin production. Renin is an enzyme produced in the kidneys. Renin is involved in the production of a substance in the body called angiotensin I. Angiotensin I is converted into the hormone angiotensin II, which narrows blood vessels.
Aliskiren blocks the production of angiotensin I so that levels of both angiotensin I and angiotensin II fall. This causes widening of the blood vessels, resulting in a drop in blood pressure. As it is a relatively new medication its use and dosages for patients with hypertension are still being determined.
Aliskiren may have the following side effects:diarrheadizziness flu-like symptoms fatigue coughBe sure to read the packaging of any medication to check for interactions with other drugs.ietanaging the diet can be effective way of both preventing and treating high blood pressure.his means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, good quality unrefined carbohydrates, vegetable oils, and omega oils. If you eat animal products make sure all the fat is trimmed and avoid processed meats.Lowering salt intake
Studies have shown that even a moderate reduction in salt, or sodium, intake can lower blood pressure levels by 2 to 8 mmHg.A study found that most Americans who are diagnosed with hypertension still consume more than the recommended levels of salt.Study leader, Umed Ajani, an epidemiologist with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Promotion, said:The DASH diet
The NIH designed a diet to control blood pressure called the DASH diet. It is also recommended by the AHA.This diet is based on an eating plan that focuses on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and low-fat dairy products.Click here for a table advising the proportions of each food type to include for people wanting to follow the DASH diet.Alcohol
Some studies indicate that consuming alcohol helps lower blood pressure, while others report the opposite.In very small amounts, alcohol may lower blood pressure. But if you drink too much, even moderate amounts in some cases, blood pressure levels may increase.
People who drink more than moderate amounts of alcohol regularly will almost always experience elevated blood pressure levels.Caffeine
There is a wide range of studies that report on whether caffeine has an impact on blood pressure. Many have conflicting conclusions but agree that moderating caffeine intake is advisable for people with high blood pressure.RangesBlood pressure meter and stethoscope
High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90 mmHg or higher.
Anyone whose blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or more for a sustained period is said to have high blood pressure, or hypertension.Blood pressure is usually divided into five categories:DiagnosisPeople measure two types of blood pressure:Systolic pressure: This is the blood pressure when the heart contracts.
Diastolic pressure: This is the blood pressure between heartbeats.
If you are told that your blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg, it means you have a systolic pressure of 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80 mmHg.SphygmomanometerMost lay people have seen this device. It consists of an inflatable cuff that is wrapped around the upper arm. When the cuff is inflated it restricts the blood flow. A mercury or mechanical manometer measures the pressure.A manual sphygmomanometer is often used together with a stethoscope.With a digital sphygmomanometer all measurements are carried out with electrical sensors.With advances in new wearable technology, people can now keep track of their blood pressure at home. You can read our review of the best home blood pressure monitors currently available to buy.One blood pressure reading is not enough to diagnose hypertension in a patient. People’s blood pressure can vary during the day, a visit to the doctor may spike the reading because the patient is anxious or stressed, having just eaten may also temporarily affect blood pressure readings.