High Blood Pressure Treatment - Experience

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What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?

High blood pressure or hypertension means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the pumping heart to all the tissues and organs of the body. High blood pressure does not mean excessive emotional tension, although emotional tension and stress can temporarily increase blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80; blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called "pre-hypertension," and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high.

The top number, which is the systolic blood pressure, corresponds to the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and pumps blood into the arteries. The bottom number, the diastolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes after the contraction. The diastolic pressure reflects the lowest pressure to which the arteries are exposed.

An elevation of the systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure increases the risk of developing heart (cardiac) disease, kidney (renal) disease, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis), eye damage, and stroke (brain damage). These complications of hypertension are often referred to as end-organ damage because damage to these organs is the end result of chronic (long duration) high blood pressure. For that reason, the diagnosis of high blood pressure is important so efforts can be made to normalize blood pressure and prevent complications.

It was previously thought that rises in diastolic blood pressure were a more important risk factor than systolic elevations, but it is now known that in people 50 years of age and older systolic hypertension represents a greater risk.

The American Heart Association estimates high blood pressure affects approximately one in three adults in the U.S. High blood pressure also is estimated to affect about two million U.S. teens and children, and the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that many are underdiagnosed. Hypertension is clearly a major public health problem.

Picture of the systolic and diastolic pressure systems of blood pressure measurement.
Picture of the systolic and diastolic pressure systems of blood pressure measurement.
Picture of high blood pressure.
Picture of high blood pressure.
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Comment from: SHYeoh, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

My blood pressure was 150/90 in 2004. I was initially prescribed 50 mg of atenolol. After a year, my blood pressure was still around 150/90 and the doctor suggested increasing the dose to 100 mg. At 100 mg of atenolol, my blood pressure was around 145/90, and I lived with this for the next four years. I consulted another doctor in 2009, and he put me on 5 mg of amlodipine and 50 mg of atenolol. My blood pressure dipped to 125/82! I have always been physically active and careful with my diet, and I wondered why my blood pressure could not be lowered. Finally, I was prescribed the correct cocktail. How do I feel? As if something has been lifted off my chest!

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Comment from: Rick J, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 28

I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, but rather than go on medication, I wanted to see first if there was something I could do without medication that would significantly lower my blood pressure. So I, removed as much salt from my diet as possible, ate fresh fruits and vegetables, and entered into a rigorous exercise program every day that gets my heart pumping. Following what I have described above, I was able to do this. I went from blood pressure levels of over 150/90 down to 120/80 within a short period of time. By keeping to this routine, I have been able to keep my blood pressure at around 120/80. I am a 72-year-old male. For exercise, I do body building in my own home gym for up to one hour a day. My meals are simple, as mentioned above, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables without adornments. I drink a lot of water, three cups of tea and one cup of cocoa a day (with skimmed milk). I believe it is entirely possible to control your blood pressure this way WITHOUT medication. I am retired now but worked in the motor vehicle trade during my working life. Since I have had time to investigate and experiment with my diet, I have reached this conclusion.

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