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Treatment For Hypertension Essay

1265 words - 6 pages

Blood pressure is the force at which one’s heart pumps blood throughout the body. The body often increases and decreases in blood pressure depending on the external work the body is performing. Physical activities, for example, cause the heart to beat faster and pump blood through the body at a more powerful rate. Hypertension, defined as a chronically elevated blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg, affects nearly 75 million Americans. If left untreated, hypertension can dramatically increase your risk for heart attacks, strokes and peripheral arterial disease. It refers to the increase of blood pressure due to the malfunctioning of the organs responsible to maintaining a normal blood ...view middle of the document...

There is an ample amount of research supporting the study of hypertension that provides clear evidence of the positive effects of exercise on lowering high blood pressure. Those who are physically active tend to live longer, healthier lives. Research shows that moderate physical activity – such as 30 minutes a day of brisk walking – significantly contributes to longevity. Even a person with risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes or even a smoking habit can gain real benefits from incorporating regular physical activity into their daily life. As many dieters have found, exercise can help you stay on a diet and lose weight. Regular exercise performed at a lower intensity can help lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and build stronger, denser bones. The key to maximizing the benefits of exercise is to follow a well-designed program that you can stick to over the long-term. A well rounded physical activity program, including aerobic exercise and strength training helps maintain and improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness.

Overweight and obesity are associated with many cardiovascular risks including hypertension. Exercise has become a staple in weight management and weight loss programs, but is mostly effective when concurrently implemented with diet modifications. What you choose to eat affects your chances of developing high blood pressure. Recent studies show that blood pressure can be lowered by following the DASH diet plan. The DASH diet is a lifelong approach to healthier eating habit to prevent high blood pressure. This diet emphasizes portion size, allowing one to get the right amount of nutrients while eating foods with low sodium i.e. no more than 2,300 mg per day, and rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The DASH diet follows the dietary recommendations to prevent cancer, stroke, heart disease, and osteoporosis. While the DASH diet is not designed to promote weight loss, it can be used as a weight-loss strategy- the combination of the eating plan and reducing ones sodium intake gives the most benefit and may help prevent the development of hypertension.

Treatment with medication is recommended to lower blood pressure to less than 140/90 in people younger than 60, and less than 150/90 in people older than 60. Often a single blood pressure drug may not be enough to control one’s blood pressure. Doctors can choose from an abundant selection of antihypertensive medications. Many of the newer antihypertensive drugs have a slightly different chemical structure from older drugs but produce nearly identical effects in the body. Drug treatment can be delayed for months in patients with stage 1 hypertension who do not have evidence of abnormal cardiovascular findings. In patients with stage 2 hypertension (blood pressure greater than 160/100 mmHg), drug treatment should start immediately after...

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