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Don’t Ignore These 4 Tips to Manage High Blood Pressure
October 15, 2018
Updated May 2023
You can never say too much about how to manage high blood pressure. Doing so early and promptly can save a lot of ‘heart’ ache in future.
Generally, we can’t ‘feel’ elevated blood pressure (hypertension) – though some people do have headaches or feel ‘somehow different’ when their blood pressure is elevated.
The diagnosis is often incidental – that is, we were busy looking into another medical problem and discovered hypertension, or it was found on a routine check.
Regardless of how it was detected, it should be taken seriously for the condition to be treated effectively.
Here’s a brief illustration:
The day after #Worldhypertensionday, a young man in his local clinic – aged in his early 40s – of Caribbean background who had been admitted weeks before for a severe headache.
On his admission to the hospital, his BP was 210/135 mmHg.
This was very high, so he spent a couple of days in the hospital, having some blood tests done and receiving treatment to reduce the Blood Pressure.
A normal blood pressure is considered to be any figure between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
On discharge from the main hospital, he was asked to book an appointment with his local (community) doctor for follow-up. He appeared to us 2 weeks after.
He had not taken his medications for over a week as he had run out of tablets.
When asked to share his experience about his admission and why he had not sought more of his drugs, he declared he wasn’t really hypertensive, and it was all down to stress.
This can be different for many people. We know the initial lack of symptoms has a lot to do with ‘denial’ that the condition exists.
Back to our patient, though. When we sought reasons he had for not engaging with his condition and treatment, it became apparent:
These genuine (in his mind) issues conflicted with what we perceived as a serious physical problem that he felt the doctors were exaggerating – especially as he felt well.
So we spent some time chatting about hypertension, his treatment and going forward.
Generally, it is agreed that sometimes stress (likely from its impact on rest and sleep) could be associated with high blood pressure.
But regardless of cause, it is important to manage it appropriately once identified.
The following 4 tips can help or remind you what things are important in taking charge of your health care with respect to controlling Hypertension.
Hypertension is one of those conditions that willful ignorance has a bad effect on.
If you don’t believe the first clinician who gives a diagnosis, get a second opinion; or a third opinion if you like. But don’t waste time doing so.
And don’t ignore it.
This is because while the BP is high and untreated, the damage is slowly and progressively happening to your eyes, kidneys, heart and other organs.
Initially, there may be no symptoms, but if untreated, the disease continues, causing severe effects that may take years to show.
Identify what tablets you are taking and just have a rough idea of why you are taking them.
Some people may need one tablet, and others 2 or 3 different drugs to control their BP.
You don’t need a complex explanation unless you want one – but when you are clear on why you are taking the tablets and what happens if you don’t have them hopefully, you’ll more likely stick to them.
Also, medicine side effects are a significant issue.
One of the many reasons we stop a medicine is if it tastes nasty or does something else unpleasant.
This may happen with your antihypertensive drugs – many medications do have undesirable side effects, which may vary from one person to another.
Don’t just stop taking them – speak to your doctor or pharmacist about a replacement. Learn more about blood pressure treatments here.
This is so important: it confirms the medicines are doing their job controlling the BP; if they are not, they can be changed to alternatives.
It also allows for regular checks on your system – by examination or arranging blood tests, electrocardiogram, X-ray etc when indicated for assessing the health of the body’s organs.
Recommended protocol to manage high blood pressure
Some people don’t like medication, and it is true sometimes BP settles with a change in diet, stopping alcohol and smoking, weight loss etc.
Whether or not you need medication, a healthier lifestyle will help keep your BP controlled.
We recommend you subscribe to a wellness blog (like ours) to receive tips on staying healthy.
Doing all of these helps keep you in control and increases your chance of staying out of the hospital with complications from poor BP control.
We hope this information helps people stay well with controlled hypertension and live longer lives!
Let us know if we can answer any specific issues about managing your BP.
Editing by AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and help promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly
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