Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition that can eventually lead to heart disease and stroke. Blood pressure measures the amount of blood the heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in the arteries. High blood pressure occurs when arteries narrow. The condition develops gradually, and it may go undiagnosed for many years.
High blood pressure rarely yields detectable symptoms, so testing blood pressure routinely is crucial. Adults should be checked every two years, according to the Mayo Clinic, and when high blood pressure is determined it should be monitored more frequently.
Do you have Resistant Hypertension? Hypertension (high blood pressure) is considered resistant when a person is taking a diuretic plus two other blood pressure medications, and their blood pressure is still too high. Resistant hypertension has several possible causes, including another underlying medical condition. Treatment typically involves a change in your medications.
When resistant hypertension is discovered, the first step is usually a thorough review of all your current medications, including those for blood pressure control and any other medications you take. In addition to treating resistant hypertension with medications, doctors typically investigate secondary causes (contributing factors), such as:
In mild cases of hypertension, lifestyle changes can be quite successful. Diet and exercise play a major role in blood pressure management, and simple changes can often lower blood pressure to acceptable levels.
When diet and exercise are not enough, doctors may prescribe medication. Several categories of drugs may be used to treat hypertension. Thiazide diuretics, or water pills, work on your kidneys to eliminate sodium and water, reducing blood volume.
Beta blockers open blood vessels, allowing the heart to beat slower and lower blood pressure. Beta blockers are often used in combination with diuretics.
Other types of medication, known as ACE inhibitors, ARBs and calcium channel blockers, relax the blood vessels, allowing the blood volume to flow more freely.
Hypertension carries a hereditary factor, and risk increases with age. Most risk factors, however, can be managed by lifestyle changes. Those risks include obesity, inactivity, tobacco use, a high-sodium diet and drinking too much alcohol. Chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney disease and sleep apnea can also increase risk of hypertension.
If you or a family member suffer from high blood pressure, you may qualify for a hypertension or resistant hypertension clinical trial. Many investigational medications are being evaluated that can help control high blood pressure.
By participating in a high blood pressure clinical trial, you gain access to medication before it is generally available. Aventiv Research is currently researching an oral medication. If you qualify, you will receive all the necessary examinations, lab work and medication at no cost. You will also receive a blood pressure monitoring device and may be compensated for your time and travel.
To get started, find out if you qualify by completing our online volunteer form.
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