What are the ways to cope with Arterial hypertension?
Arterial hypertension also known as high blood pressure is one of the most common diseases of the cardiovascular system. It is established that about 20-30% of the adult population suffers from arterial hypertension. With age the disease prevalence increases and reaches 50-65% for persons over 65 years of age.
It is believed that heightened activity of biological mechanisms bringing on the increase of cardiac output and/or the increase in peripheral vascular resistance underlie in the cause of hypertension.
Hypertension can result in:
chronic renal disease
acute myocardial infarction
congestive cardiac failure
shortened life expectancy
If hypertension threatens your health or you have been already suffering from high blood pressure, certain changes in lifestyle can help you to reduce blood pressure. These changes may lower or eliminate the need in medications for blood pressure control but even if medications were prescribed, most likely, you will be recommended to change the way of life anyway:
Do not smoke.
Eat healthy food, preferably fruits, vegetables and low-fat dietary food.
Take control over the amount of salt in your meals.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Perform moderate exercise at least for 30 minutes a day.
Reduce the number of alcohol consumption.
Still these rules observance cannot guarantee blood pressure normalization, especially if hypertension is complicated by diabetes, kidney or heart diseases. In such a case, medications for the treatment of hypertension will be prescribed to you:
1. Diuretics are often used as the first line treatment - they increase the excretion of water and salt from human organism thus reducing the pressure. There are three types of diuretics, but usually the preference is given to thiazide as this class of drugs has fewer side effects than other diuretics while providing strong protection from stroke and heart failure that can be caused by high blood pressure. In combination with a healthy lifestyle, taking diuretics may be enough to control the pressure.
2. Angiotensin II receptor antagonists help to relax blood vessels by blocking angiotensin effect. Losartan, valsartan, candesartan or Benicar 40 mg can be prescribed for lowering blood pressure.
3. Angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors expand blood vessels and prevent angiotensin (hormone causing vasoconstriction) from affecting them. Among ACE inhibitors ramipril, lisinopril, captopril are widely used.
4. Beta-adrenergic blocking agents like metoprolol, nadolol, penbutolol work by blocking certain nerve and hormonal signals to the heart and blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure.
5. Calcium channel blockers prevent the penetration of calcium in the heart and blood vessels cells thus relaxing them and lowering blood pressure in such a way. Often proscribed calcium channel blockers are amlodipine, diltiazem and nifedipine.
6. Renin inhibitors of aliskiren type can suppress the production of rennin that is the enzyme generated by the kidneys. It gives rise to the chemical process leading to blood vessels narrowing and pressure increasing. Aliskiren slows down the production of renin, reducing its ability to start this process.
There are a number of treatment regimens including different drugs combinations or mono therapy, but the choice of drugs depends on the practice adopted in one or another country as well as on individual circumstances in every particular case.