Hypertension can lead to a number of complications including stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, and heart attack. Therefore, it is important that we understand how it is developed and how to treat it.
5 percent of the hypertensive patients may be caused by kidney disease, narrowing of certain arteries or structural abnormality of the aorta. Aorta is the largest artery carrying oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body. The condition can be controlled well by medical treatment in most cases.
On the other hand, no reason has been found in the remaining 95 percent of the hypertensive patients. Nevertheless, there is evidence suggesting that these cases may be associated with a combination of hereditary and/or lifestyle-related risk factors. These risk factors include a family history of high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, excessive salt intake, obesity, smoking, stress, excessive alcohol intake, and use of oral contraceptives.
Hypertension cannot be cured once it is developed. However, it can always be controlled by adopting a healthy lifestyle and usually with the help of medication. Generally, hypertensive drugs can be classified as per their functions:
- to get rid of excess fluid and salt from your body.
- to reduce the heart rate and the output of blood from the heart.
- to prevent narrowing of blood vessels by dilating them.
6 common types of drugs that doctors used to treat hypertension are:
1. Diuretics – The aim of these drugs is to reduce the fluid volume in the body by increasing the excretion of water and salt and dilating the blood vessels.
2. Beta Blockers – They slow down the heart rate and reduce the anxiety by blocking the action of adrenaline (a hormone produced in the body).
3. Calcium Channel Blockers –Blood vessels can be dilated and force of contraction of the heart can be reduced by them.
4. Alpha 1 Blockers – The drugs dilate the blood vessels.
5. Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors – They block the formation of angiotensin II from angiotensin I.
6. Angiotensin II Receptor Block (ARB) – These drugs dilate blood vessels by blocking the action of angiotensin II.
Certain drugs may be suitable for different people. One should not insist the doctor to prescribe a particular drug simply because it works very well for other people. Sometimes, this drug may not suit you owing to its side-effects. You should let your doctor decide for you the medications that suit best for you.
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