Resistant hypertension refers to the condition where your blood pressure remains high despite taking at least 3-4 different types of medications and diuretics. Resistant hypertension may occur due to one or more underlying causes – hormonal abnormalities, plaque build-up in the arteries, obstructive sleep apnoea, obesity, and others.
Ways to manage resistant hypertension
Since neither medications nor diuretics yield the desired results, the only way to combat resistant hypertension is to adopt lifestyle changes that might help keep high blood pressure under control.
Eat a low-salt well-balanced diet – Eating a heart-healthy diet is important to control resistant hypertension. Get all the nutrition from healthy food sources. Focus on eating a DASH diet that is rich in fibre and low in sodium – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, fibre, low-fat dairy products, nuts and legumes. At the same time, reduce your intake of saturated fats, sweetened beverages, and red meat.
Limit intake of alcohol – Drinking too much alcohol elevates your blood pressure. If you have resistant hypertension, you will need to limit your daily alcohol intake to 1-2 drinks.
Indulge in physical activities – Staying physically active not only helps regulate your high blood pressure, but also helps strengthen the heart, manage weight, and reduce stress levels. A strong heart, healthy weight, and emotional well-being are good for hypertension. Make time for mild to moderate physical activities like brisk walking, cycling, running or jogging, and muscle training. Working out at least 30-45 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your overall health.
Keep your weight under check – Being obese or overweight puts you at risk of high blood pressure and other related health issues. It is important that you lose excess weight and maintain healthy body weight. Eat healthily and work out every day to manage resistant hypertension.
Lower stress levels – In today’s fast-paced life, stress can take a toll on your blood pressure, causing it to rise up sharply. Practice various stress-management techniques – meditation, yoga, relaxation therapy, and deep breathing exercises can help calm your mind and bring down your stress levels.
Apart from following these, resistant hypertension patients should continue taking the right dose of medications at the right time, as per their doctor’s recommendation.
High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is a serious condition that may put you at risk of stroke and heart disease, if left untreated. Besides medications, there are other ways to control blood pressure levels. Most of these involve making changes in your habits and lifestyle.
Here is what you can do to get your blood pressure back to its normal range –
Lose weight – Losing as little as 3-4 kg can make a big difference in your elevated blood pressure levels and overall health. According to studies, losing 5% of the bodyweight could reduce high blood pressure significantly. Weight loss helps your vessels contract and expand better, making it easier for the left ventricle to pump blood. The effect is greater when you exercise. Make sure you indulge in some sort of physical activity for half an hour at least, 3-4 days a week. It could be running, cycling, swimming, jogging, or even brisk walking.
Cut back on sodium intake – People often end up consuming more dietary sodium than the recommended levels. Individuals with high blood pressure should limit their sodium intake to 1500 gm/day. It is difficult to reduce dietary sodium without reading labels unless you prepare your own food. It does not take much sodium to reach the daily allowance – only 3/4th of a teaspoon of salt is enough. Processed and packaged foods contain high levels of sodium. It is best to avoid such ‘salty foods’ like bread rolls, pies, pastries, sausages, pizza, pasta, biscuits and cookies.
Limit alcohol consumption – Drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis can cause your blood pressure to rise up significantly. 16% of all cases concerning high blood pressure have been linked to overindulgence in alcohol. Therefore, drink in moderation. Limit your number of drinks to one (for women) and two (for men) thrice a week.
Relieve Stress – Stress hormones can constrict your blood vessels temporarily. Over time, built-up stress can prompt certain unhealthy habits that put you at risk of cardiovascular problems. These may include poor sleep, overeating, and misusing alcohol and drugs. Therefore, relieving stress is imperative to reducing high blood pressure.
Hypertension affects the majority of the world’s population. Ideally, your systolic blood pressure should be less than 120 mm/Hg and diastolic pressure less than 80 mm/Hg. The above guidelines will help you stabilize your high blood pressure and keep it within the desired range.
If you have high blood pressure, you would have to depend a lot on medications, as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Medications can help keep your blood pressure within the normal range. However, in order to be able to maintain a normal blood pressure reading, you should focus on other remedies too.
Here are a few ways through which you can manage hypertension –
Decrease your daily sodium intake – For most adults, a sodium intake of 1500mg or less per day is ideal. Therefore, aim to limit your daily sodium intake to the specified amount. Avoid sprinkling table salt on your food to enhance the taste and flavour. Also, pay attention to the labels on packaged and processed foods. Frozen food, cakes and pastries, bread and pizzas contain a high amount of salt, which spikes your blood pressure levels and harms your health in several other ways.
Follow a DASH diet plan – A DASH diet specifically focuses on lowering high blood pressure. The diet consists of whole grains, green vegetables, and fruits. It involves cutting back on saturated fats, full-fat dairy products, and processed foods, and including fish, lean meat, nuts and seeds, and low-fat or fat-free dairy items. Following a DASH diet plan might bring down your systolic blood pressure by 11 mm/Hg.
Maintain a healthy body weight – If you are obese or overweight, losing those extra kilos and maintaining a healthy weight can help you manage hypertension, and put you at a lesser risk of related health issues. Generally, with every kilo of weight you lose, you are likely to reduce your blood pressure by 1mm/Hg.
Stay active – Physical activities and regular exercise can keep your body weight in check and help reduce high blood pressure. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise or physical activity every day. Jogging, running, brisk walking, cycling, swimming, weight training are some of the exercises you could try.
Limit alcohol intake and quit smoking – Excessive alcohol consumption causes your blood pressure to rise up significantly. Drink in moderation. Limit your drink to 1-2 glasses a day, that too 2-3 times a week. The tobacco found in cigarettes damages the blood vessels and quickly builds up plaque in the arteries, which makes it difficult to pump blood. Therefore, quit smoking right away.
Manage stress – Stress often leads to elevated blood pressure levels. Practice meditation, deep breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to cope with stress.
While you practice these management tips, don't forget to follow up with your doctor and monitor your blood pressure regularly. Even if your readings come to normal, do not stop taking the prescribed medications.
Hypertension affects many women during pregnancy. Blood pressure readings that are equal to or greater than 140/90 mm/Hg indicate elevated blood pressure. If left untreated, the condition can lead to serious health complications for the infant, the mother, or both.
Types of hypertension associated with pregnancy
Three types of hypertension are common in women during pregnancy –
Chronic hypertension – A woman with chronic hypertension either had elevated blood pressure before pregnancy, or it developed within the initial 20 weeks of pregnancy. Women with this condition are likely to develop an abnormal amount of proteinuria – high protein content in the urine. The presence of proteinuria may be an indication of kidney problems.
Gestational hypertension – Gestational hypertension usually develops in the latter half of the pregnancy, after the first 20 weeks. This condition only occurs during pregnancy, without any changes in the functioning of the liver or the presence of protein in the urine. This form of hypertension is temporary and typically goes away after the birth of the child. However, it can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure in later life.
Preeclampsia – This type of hypertension usually occurs in the third trimester, and rarely develops after the child is born. The condition is diagnosed after measuring the blood pressure readings and testing urine samples and blood. Preeclampsia is often linked with severe consequences like kidney damage, liver damage, and seizures.
Risks associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension
The various risks associated with hypertension during pregnancy include –
Decreased flow of blood to the placenta
Intrauterine growth restriction
In order to avoid these complications, you should focus on keeping your high blood pressure levels stable.
What about delivery and labour?
The doctor might suggest inducing labour before the delivery to avoid risks. The induction timing depends on whether you have end-stage organ damage or your baby has complications, and how well managed is your blood pressure. Normally, pregnant women with preeclampsia are given medications during labour to prevent seizures.
Is there any treatment for high blood pressure?
There is no particular treatment for high blood pressure. The key is to monitor your blood pressure and keep it under check using medications and following healthy lifestyle practices. Some medications are safe to use during pregnancy, while most others like ACE inhibitors and renin inhibitors should be avoided. Talk to your doctor and take only the medications suggested by him/her.
High Blood Pressure, also known as Hypertension, is not a disease but a condition in which the force and amount of blood are high against artery walls for a long-term. This can cause several health issues as serious as heart attack and damage of blood vessels. Almost every individual experiences High Blood Pressure once in a while but when Blood Pressure remains mostly high, it becomes problematic. There are no major symptoms that can detect if a person has the problem of High Blood Pressure. There are some symptoms of Hypertension such as dizziness, headache, nosebleed, and shortening of breath. However, many other health problems also share these symptoms and one cannot be sure of High Blood Pressure by reviewing only these symptoms. Hence, it is always advisable to consult the doctor for the diagnosis. Although we see people around us taking medicines for High Blood Pressure, this can be a life-threatening problem as a drastic increase in the blood pressure can lead to heart stroke or damage to any other organ.
There are no specific reasons for High Blood Pressure, however, there are some elements that become the reason for Hypertension.
● Consumption of drugs
● An unhealthy and unbalanced diet
● Sleep apnea
● Family history
● Lack of physical work
● Thyroid problem
● Consumption of tobacco
● Consumption of alcohol
● High cholesterol
● Kidney problem
● Mental stress
● Adrenal gland tumor
Management of High Blood Pressure
The condition of High Blood Pressure can be managed by bringing some changes in one’s lifestyle and diet. Doctors advise a few simple changes to manage Hypertension that can be carried out by anyone, irrespective of their age and gender.
● Exercise: One does not need to go for intense physical work but a half an hour walk or light exercises can help one manage his/her High Blood Pressure.
● Diet: One can plan his/her diet by including and excluding certain food items. One should try to include food with low saturated fat, moderate calories, low sodium salt, and many more depending upon age and also if he/she has any other medical issue.
● Regular check: To control one’s Blood Pressure, an individual should check their Blood Pressure on a regular basis if they have the machine home. A regular check of Blood Pressure is important especially before taking the medication as having medicine in low or normal Blood Pressure can also lead to major health problems. Even if the person has the blood pressure monitor at home, he/she should visit a doctor once in a while for a proper, error-free checkup.
Hypertension or High Blood Pressure is a medical condition where the amount and force of blood get higher than usual. This condition can be life-threatening as it can harm an individual’s organs and blood vessels. There are no particular symptoms that specify the problem of High Blood Pressure. There are a few ways in which one can try to control their Blood Pressure. Checking Blood Pressure is not a difficult task and hence one can do it on his/her own at home but should definitely consult a doctor if he/she finds an increase in the Blood Pressure than normal.
Measurement of the blood pressure is considered to be an important step in the diagnostic protocol since the flow of blood in the body determines one’s health. Higher the blood pressure, more the risk of health problems.
Now what exactly blood pressure is? It is the pressure exerted by blood on the walls of the blood vessels, specifically on the large arteries of the systemic circulation. The normal resting blood pressure of the human body is 120/80 mm Hg, where 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is diastolic pressure, measured by the auscultatory method.
Usually, for measuring blood pressure, a physician is consulted. However, nowadays, blood pressure can be measured at home itself, thus removing the necessity of visiting a clinic for the same. There is a possibility of the patient is suffering from the ‘White Coat” hypertension, where the blood pressure of the patient shoots up in the presence of the physician at the clinic. In such patients, it’s safer to suggest blood pressure measurement at home itself.
Certain factors like stress, smoking, heavy exercise, brisk walking, rapid movements, caffeine and certain medications can alter the pressure of blood. These factors should be avoided. There are two ways by which the blood pressure can be measured at home-
A. Measurement of blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer
1- Sit comfortably at one place and open the kit.
2- Raise your arm to the heart level.
3- Wrap the cuff around your upper arm, preferably the left arm.
4- The cuff should be adjusted to snugly fit. It shouldn’t be too tight.
5- Place the diaphragm (head) of the stethoscope flat against the skin on the inside of your arm.
6- Tighten the valve of the rubber bulb and inflate the cuff.
7- Release the valve slowly and note down the first thumping sound. This is the systolic blood pressure.
8- After the thumping sounds subside, there is a small whooshing sound, following which no sound is audible. Note down this pressure on the gauge, it is termed as diastolic blood pressure.
B. Digital devices
1- Sit comfortably and relaxed with your back supported.
2- Support your arm on a tabletop at an even level with your heart.
3- Place the cuff on the left arm and keep tubing at the centre of your arm facing the front. Place the sensor correctly.
4- Press the “start” button. When the measurement is complete, readings of your systolic and diastolic blood pressures and your pulse rate will be displayed on the digital panel.
5- Record the reading of the first measurement and obtain another reading of blood pressure after resting.
6- Take the average value of the two readings.
By using these two simple methods and following the above mentioned easy steps, blood pressure can be measured and monitored at home itself. If there is a huge difference between consecutive readings, then it is best to consult the physician for accurate results.
Hypertension or high blood pressure in itself is a problem where the patient may have the risk of getting a stroke or heart attack! When it combines with pregnancy, the situation may worsen. However, it is not always that hypertension during pregnancy is dangerous, but if care is not taken it may be fatal.
Is hypertension during pregnancy really dangerous?
When a woman has hypertension, either before conception or after it, she has risks of certain complications that may occur during pregnancy.
With high blood pressure, the blood flow to the fetus is not normal; it decreases. Thus, the fetus does not get enough nutrients that it must get.
Getting fewer nutrients may result in low birth weight as the baby will not receive enough nutrients.
When the baby is not getting enough oxygen and nutrients through the body, your doctor may suggest getting pre-term delivery.
Another emergency may occur if the placenta detaches itself from the uterus before maturing. Placental abruption sometimes can be very dangerous.
For delivery of a pregnant woman with hypertension, doctors generally prefer a Cesarean delivery.
Another tough situation is preeclampsia that can be life-threatening for both baby and mother. It may lead to cardio vascular problem for the lady in the future life.
There are different types of issues that occur due to high blood pressure that occurs either before pregnancy or during pregnancy.
Types of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy.
Chronic Hypertension: This type of hypertension occurs in a woman before she conceives. It may also develop during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.
Gestational Hypertension: If the high blood pressure develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy, it is gestational hypertension and after birth, this problem goes away.
Preeclampsia: Both chronic and gestational hypertension may lead to preeclampsia. This is much serious than other situations and the level of protein in urine increases. It is required to take quick action for this type of problem.
Taking medication for hypertension during pregnancy: During pregnancy, it is important to keep a check on every medication that the mother takes because each and everything affects the baby. However, it is necessary to treat high blood pressure and keep it under control. There are certain medicines that are not dangerous during pregnancy, but certain medicines like angiotensin receptor blockers and others may be dangerous.
Thus, it is better to take advice from a Doctor before the mother takes any medication.
Finally, a pregnant woman should always consult her physician if she has chances of getting high blood pressure.
The amount of salt you eat has a direct effect on your blood pressure. Salt makes your body hold onto water, this extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure, the higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys and brain which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia & kidney disease.
The number of people affected by hypertension is constantly on the rise. The most important concern with people developing hypertension is that it is not an isolated issue. It brings with it a host of problems, including higher chances of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney diseases. While there is no definite cure for hypertension, it is definitely possible to control it using the following measures.
As noted, hypertension is not an isolated issue and brings with it a whole lot of issues. Controlling it can help control the other issues that would follow and improve the quality of life.
Hypertension during pregnancy can be a problem for both baby and the mother. Thus it is of utmost importance that during pregnancy a good health should be maintained along with controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels. With an increase in multiple births and women of older age the risk of hypertension during pregnancy has increased. But if proper care is taken it can be avoided.
Types of Pregnancy Hypertension:
There are three prominent forms of hypertension that can be seen during pregnancy. The pregnant ladies should be aware of the same. These are:
- Preeclampsia - This is the most common and serious hypertension during pregnancy. This hypertension can only be controlled by delivering the fetus which usually involves complications like death of the mother or child. This occurs 20 weeks after pregnancy.
- Chronic Hypertension - This form forms either prior to the pregnancy or before 20 weeks of the pregnancy.
Management of Pregnancy Hypertension:
Hypertension during pregnancy can be handled by the following:
- In case of severe hypertension, blood pressure medication should be continued during pregnancy
- If you are on ACE inhibitor-type medication, then the medication is changed to one that is even safe for the baby
- Your doctor might like to monitor you daily and can advise hospitalization for a few days
- If medication is missed, it might lead to uncontrolled life-threatening hypertension. Thus the medication should not be missed at any time
- In case of mild hypertension and absence of other diseases like diabetes and kidney disorders, the doctor might stop the medication or reduce the dose. Also, being off medicine does not cause any problem in mild hypertension.
- Irrespective of the hypertension being mild or severe, the prenatal appointments should not be missed, so that the doctor can monitor you and the baby. If any problems, like rise in blood pressure, poor fetal growth, and signs of preeclampsia can be spotted and steps can be taken for the same.
- In case there is some form of hypertension present the prenatal visits and lab tests will be more
- Also regular fetal tests and Doppler ultrasounds will be done to track the baby's growth.
- Lifestyle changes should be made. Salt intake should be limited, fresh food instead of processed food should be consumed.
- If blood pressure is high then doctor might ask you to avoid exercise especially if you never did before pregnancy.