The importance of high blood pressure treatment

Why are there so many treatments out there?

law of thirdsIn the US alone, there are over 65 million hypertensives who should be on high blood pressure treatment of some sort. A favourite quote of doctors called 'the rule of thirds ' goes like this: 'One third of hypertensives are undiagnosed, of those diagnosed a third are not being treated and of those who are on treatment ONE THIRD ARE STILL HYPERTENSIVE.

Getting your high blood pressure diagnosed and treated is important if you are going to avoid health complications, also, high blood pressure affects health insurance so you need to protect your wallet as well as your health!

One of the reasons for some people not being on hypertension treatment is that they are out there looking for a magic cure. If you look around on the internet you may begin to believe that there is one, if only you could find it.

So why are there so many types of high blood pressure treatment out there? The simple answer is that none of them is guaranteed to work! Despite what you may read elsewhere, there is not yet a single method of treating hypertension that will definitely normalize blood pressure for everyone who takes it. So, everyone from drug company boffins to herbal therapists keeps devising new ones.

So many treatments

Yet everyone with high blood pressure CAN succeed in controlling it.

Why is high blood pressure treatment important ?

Prolonged high blood pressure damages the body. Put simply, vulnerable parts of you wear out more quickly if your system runs at too high a pressure for a long time. The heart has to pump too hard, blood vessels get damaged and the hypertensive person has a higher risk of heart disease. Sensitive organs like the kidney suffer, so the risk of renal failure is increased. The eyes deteriorate too and the brain is vulnerable to perhaps the most devastating complication of all - stroke.

complications of HBP

Such problems can be prevented by correct blood pressure control. The solution is to try known remedies in a logical manner and find a combination of approaches that works. There will be something that works well enough for you to stay off drugs or reduce your dosage. (Lower doses mean fewer side effects).

On this site I will be evaluating some of the many 'cures' for high blood pressure out there and looking at available evidence to help you decide what might work for you.

Taking control - important advice

Why are one third of people on high blood pressure treatment not controlled? In most cases the person with the problem has not explored the available options. Many who have been prescribed drugs do not take them as they should. (See news article here). My aim is to encourage you to take responsibility, not to leave it all to the professionals - they don't have as much time to spend on you as you do.

Below is a story that I believe is very typical of the average case of newly-diagnosed high blood pressure.

Rod's Story

Rod (not his real name) had a check up and his doctor told him his blood pressure was raised. The doctor gave him some advice about how to change his lifestyle and gave him some leaflets about diet and exercise. He asked him to come back for another check in a month.

Rod did heed the advice and lost a bit of weight. He cut down on excessive salt in his diet, (for a while) and did more exercise (for a while).

When he next saw the doctor and was asked whether he was following the advice, he said he was and outlined a number of things he had been doing. The doctor was impressed, however, when he checked Rod's blood pressure, it was still high - nothing had worked enough to reduce his BP significantly. Eventually he ended up on two medicines for his high blood pressure treatment.

The learning point from this case is that in reality, Rod's efforts to adopt effective lifestyle measures were half-hearted and were not likely to work - he was not to know this. Furthermore the doctor left it all up to him and took his word for it. Both of them seemed to have accepted it as inevitable he would end up on drugs and were going through the motions. (Do you see some of yourself in this?) Later on, with some modest but regular input from me and a more structured programme, Rod was able to get back to using just one drug. However, few doctors have the time to guide you carefully through all the alternatives for high blood pressure treatment. I did not have enough time to devote to helping Rod maintain the beneficial changes he made, otherwise I am sure we could have done even better.

Everybody needs guidance to ensure they have wrung every bit of benefit out of other tested measures before starting on drugs, or adding another.

And, if you are pre-hypertensive and don't need drugs yet, remember you are more likely than not to develop high blood pressure unless you do something about it.

High blood pressure can be reduced by the use of:

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This page was last modified on : May 11, 2011.