If you have been diagnosed with hypertension it means that your heart is working harder to cope with the kind of elevated pressure exerted by blood that is pumping through it. This could lead to significant strain on your blood vessels and other organs, putting you at a higher risk of a heart attack, kidney problems, or stroke. While your age, genetics, race, and even stressful living and health conditions are factors that may increase your risk of high blood pressure, the good news is that this is a preventive disease.
To begin with, proactive lifestyle changes such as adequate exercise, dietary changes, cutting down on smoking and alcohol intake, and getting sufficient sleep can go a long way in controlling and maintaining blood pressure. These measures, in combination with prescribed medication, can effectively minimise hypertension in patients and in some cases, also reverse it.
Here are 5 five things to keep in mind when taking your hypertension drugs:
There are many drugs that fight the effects of high blood pressure and each of these have specific side effects. It is a good practice to stay informed about the medication suitable for you as recommended by your doctor. Don't be afraid, for example, to ask your doctor about the brand name as well as the generic name of your drug, its dosage, and for how long it has to be continued.
More importantly, inquire about the side effects and the possible interference with other medication or alcoholic beverages. Also, feel free to ask if the prescribed medication will affect your daily routine and activities such as driving or handling heavy equipment.
If you are prone to forgetting relevant things on account of your age or recovery from a recent illness or operation, it can be overwhelming to keep mental notes about the different hypertension drugs you need to take every day. But this can be easily overcome if you make it part of your everyday routine. Here are some tips that may be useful towards this step:
Now that you have a handy list of your medication in place and are better organised with your pillboxes and/or effective reminders, you will notice other benefits that will actually reduce your stress or anxiety levels. For example:
If possible, monitor your blood pressure regularly. Your doctor will be able to help you better if he or she is kept updated about the changes in your blood pressure and other work-related or personal situations that may affect your health. This information will enable your doctor to prescribe or change your medication according to what works best for you. You also need to update your doctor about:
Hypertension need not be a lifelong condition if treated with care. Taking your blood pressure medication on time, a healthy balance of diet and exercise to ensure an appropriate body weight, and sufficient sleep – all these factors can help in lowering the strain on your heart and blood vessels.