John Smith, age 63 was recently diagnosed with hypertension. His family will be accompanying him today to speak with me about his treatment options. To prepare for my discussion with Mr. Smith and his family, I want to gather some simplistic information about hypertension. Hypertension is an abnormal rise in blood pressure. Blood pressure is the blood that is pumped into and out of the heart. The systolic pressure, also known as the blood leaving the heart, is what occurs when the heart contracts (or squeezes). The diastolic pressure is found in the arteries when the heart is resting. Your physician typically displays your blood pressure results as 130/70 or systolic/diastolic.
Hypertension involves major parts of the body, like ...view middle of the document...
Hypertension is not the result of one or two blood pressure test coming back elevated. It is the result of several repeated blood pressure test over a span of time coming back in an above normal range. Normal ranges under 120/80 are typically where your physician would like to see you. Pre-hypertension is in the 120-140/80-90 range. Anything above 140/90 is considered to be high blood pressure (aka hypertension).
There are multiple treatment options available for the diagnosis of hypertension. If you are in the pre-hypertension range, then you would typically just be monitored for a period of time with blood pressure test to occur at random throughout this time. Your physician would review the results with you and determine if further measures needed to be made. If you are already at the hypertension range, then your physician will discuss with you the options you have to help meet your situation. Some of your options may be to change your diet. Reduce the amount of cholesterol you eat, like eating egg whites only instead of the whole egg. Use salt substitutes instead of salt. Stop eating fried foods like french fries or non-baked potato chips. With this diet change, he may also give you a light to moderate exercise regimen recommendation and some medication(s). Exercises could include a brisk walk for 30 minutes. Medications could be diuretics (water pills) in combination with a beta blocker or a calcium blocker. It will depend on your individual situation and lifestyle.
The most important thing to take away from this is that hypertension is serious. It cannot be ignored, if it is, it could lead to having a heart attack, visual impairments, or even death. As long as physicianâ€™s instructions and advice are followed, maintaining a long normal life is possible.