Hypertension Treatment & Prevention
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a serious but common medical condition that can cause further health problems down the line if left untreated. Nirvana Healthcare Management Services offers family-oriented medical practices in East Orange and Newark, New Jersey that aim to provide high-quality primary care services to control high blood pressure and keep our community healthy. The health and well-being of our patients, including managing elevated blood pressure, are of the utmost importance to us, and that is why we treat all of our patients as if they were members of our own family. Learn more about hypertension diagnosis and treatment, including ways to lower blood pressure, at Nirvana’s primary care locations: Salerno Medical Associates, Metropolitan Medical Group, Roseville Medical Society, North Ward Medical Arts, and Armenti Medical Group. Treatments are also available through CHOP/SHOP, which provides house visits to eligible patients to address diastolic blood pressure and other related concerns.
What is Hypertension?
Blood pressure is the force exerted by your heart as it pumps blood through your arteries. When this force is consistently too high, it leads to hypertension or high blood pressure, potentially causing damage to blood vessels and various heart-related issues like heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, and heart disease. Unfortunately, hypertension is often asymptomatic, earning its nickname as the “silent killer.” In some cases, individuals with high blood pressure may experience occasional symptoms like headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds, but these signs typically appear in the advanced stages of the condition. Getting your blood pressure checked regularly is crucial for detecting hypertension. Once diagnosed, your doctor can work with you to manage it.
Certain risk factors may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure/hypertension, which include:
- Older age
- Race (more common in those of African descent)
- Family history of hypertension
- Being overweight
- Drinking too much alcohol
How We Treat Hypertension
Hypertension, while asymptomatic, is rather easy to diagnose with routine doctor’s appointments, as blood pressure is almost always measured. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg, while blood pressure is considered elevated if it reads 130/80 Hg or higher.
Our care team will measure your blood pressure with a cuff, and if yours is elevated, the clinician will discuss treatment options with you. Depending on the severity of your hypertension and other factors, these options may include blood pressure medicines like calcium channel blockers to help lower high blood pressure, thereby decreasing the risk of complications such as heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. Managing high blood pressure is crucial for preventing serious health issues like heart attacks, which can occur due to blood pushing too forcefully against your blood vessel walls. There are some traditional treatment options for hypertension, which include:
Making lifestyle adjustments is usually the standard, first-line treatment option for high blood pressure or hypertension. Some recommendations your clinician may make for healthier living include:
- Getting regular physical exercise helps lower your blood pressure and improve blood flow through your blood vessels.
- Reducing stress levels via meditation, mindfulness, etc, can contribute to better management of blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications like heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
- Avoiding or quitting smoking as smoking can raise blood pressure
- Managing body weight, as excess weight can contribute to elevated blood pressure.
- Eating a balanced diet with limited amounts of alcohol, salt, and junk food which can help lower high blood pressure and maintain normal blood pressure
Learning how to effectively lower your blood pressure and what will raise blood pressure is one of the most important aspects of your overall health.
When it comes to treating high blood pressure or hypertension, some patients will need to take specialized medications tailored to their individual needs and circumstances to lower their levels. Diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, alpha-beta blockers, and others are common medications used to treat high blood pressure and control high blood pressure. Some blood pressure medications function better when taken in combination with others, and it may take some trial and error to find the most effective solution. As a precaution, always take your blood pressure medicine exactly as prescribed without skipping doses or abruptly stopping.
Let’s take a look at how these medications work to lower your blood pressure:
- How They Work: Diuretics, also known as water pills, increase the excretion of salt and water from the body through the urine. This process reduces the volume of blood circulating through the blood vessels, leading to a decrease in blood pressure.
- Effect on Blood Pressure: Diuretics lower blood pressure by reducing the overall fluid volume in the bloodstream, which in turn reduces the pressure on the blood vessel walls. This makes it easier for the heart to pump blood and lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors:
- How They Work: ACE inhibitors block the action of the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which is responsible for narrowing blood vessels. By doing so, ACE inhibitors relax and widen the blood vessels, reducing resistance to blood flow.
- Effect on Blood Pressure: ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessel walls, allowing blood to flow more easily. This results in reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Additionally, they have protective effects on the heart and kidneys.
Calcium Channel Blockers:
- How They Work: Calcium channel blockers inhibit the entry of calcium into the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels and the heart. This action relaxes the muscles in the blood vessel walls and reduces the force of the heart’s contractions.
- Effect on Blood Pressure: Calcium channel blockers lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels, which decreases the resistance to blood flow and reduces the workload on the heart. This leads to a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
- How They Work: Alpha-beta blockers are a type of medication that blocks both alpha and beta receptors in the body. By doing so, they reduce the effects of stress hormones like norepinephrine on the heart and blood vessels.
- Effect on Blood Pressure: Alpha-beta blockers lower blood pressure by reducing the heart rate and relaxing blood vessels. This combination of effects leads to decreased cardiac output and less forceful contractions of the heart, resulting in lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Book an Appointment and Take Control of Your Blood Pressure Today!
Take control of your high blood pressure with the help of our trusted medical practitioners and comprehensive treatment plans. At Nirvana Healthcare Management Services, our primary care physicians are dedicated to diagnosing and treating acute and chronic diseases with a compassionate approach. Don’t let hypertension or any other medical condition go unchecked – reach out to us today for peace of mind and expert care.