High blood pressure or hypertension usually arises when the heart is putting too much work into the circulation of blood. Two major parameters are used to determine the readings for blood pressure, Systolic, and Diastolic.
For easy identification, the Systolic is the number that appears at the top of the blood pressure reading device while the bottom reading is known as diastolic. Systolic pressure calculates the pressure in the arteries when the muscles of the heart contract.
This gives an indication of the level of tautness or relaxation of the blood vessels. Diastolic pressure measures the pressure exerted when the heart relaxes.
One elusive thing about blood pressure is that they are often unpredictable. Some high blood pressure side effects do not give warnings before they take hold.
Another downside is that if treatment is not administered early enough, it can cause harm to the blood vessels, weakening of the heart, heart attack, kidney damage, stroke, eye defects, and other serious health conditions.
One test reading is usually not enough to determine if one has high blood pressure. Ideally, at least two other tests should be conducted after the first before a conclusion is reached.
Common Blood Pressure Medication That May Increase The Risk Of Cardiac Arrest
Dihydropyridines have been heavily linked to cardiac arrests that occur outside the hospital. Some reports say that a large dosage of nifedipine can lead to blocking of L-shaped calcium channels. This can cause the triggering of the deadly arrhythmia known for causing cardiac arrest.
Treatment of high blood pressure
Treatment is determined by the severity of the case. Changes in lifestyle can help to improve the health of anyone dealing with high blood pressure. Less salt intake, reduced intake of saturated fats, alcohol, weight loss are all lifestyle changes that can boost fitness.
The reading for normal blood pressure is below 120 for systolic and below 80 for diastolic. For elevated blood pressure, reading is between 120 – 129 for systolic and at 80 or lower for diastolic. Stage 1 of high blood pressure has pressure readings at 130 – 139 for systolic, then 80 – 89 for diastolic.
Reading for stage 2 of high blood pressure has pressure readings at 140 or higher for systolic, while diastolic reading is at 90 or higher. When systolic is above 180 and diastolic is at 120 or above, it is known as hypertensive crisis.
Lifestyle Changes for Controlling High Blood Pressure
When blood pressure is at the elevated stage, adopting healthy lifestyle changes can mitigate heightened pressure levels. These changes can also help to place high blood pressure under control. Examples of healthy lifestyle changes are;
- A healthy diet – entails eating those foods that are capable of reducing blood pressure. Examples are fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
- Stress management– exercises such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and massage helps to improve health.
- Exercise– exercising for thirty minutes daily can go a long way in improving health and lowering blood pressure.
- Quitting habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol as they contain substances that are toxic to the body.
Classes of Blood Pressure Medication
Diuretics – these are drugs that enable the withdrawal of sodium from the kidney. They allow for the removal of water and sodium from the body through a process known as diuresis. Three types of diuretics exist. They are; thiazide, loop and potassium-sparing diuretics.
Thiazide drugs such as hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, metolazone, and daphne are the most commonly used diuretics for the treatment of high blood pressure. Common side effects associated with diuretics are exhaustion, low blood pressure, raise in the level of glucose in the blood, rise in potassium level, heightened uric acid level.
Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs) – the presence of calcium in the heart causes the muscles of the heart to contract with a force that is higher than required.
CCBs help to move out calcium from the heart, thereby helping the blood vessels to relax which in turn enables the heart to pump blood with less force. Three main classes of CCBs exist, the difference lies in their chemical structure and actions. The three classes are dihydropyridines, benzodiazepines, and phenylalkylamines.
Dihydropyridines are the most commonly used option for treating hypertension because of their ability to reduce pressure in the arteries. Examples are amlodipine, isradipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, nimodipine, and nitrendipine. Side effects linked with calcium channel blockers include dizziness, headaches, nausea, fatigue, heartburn, and constipation.
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors – ACE enables the production of Angiotensin II, a substance that causes constriction of blood vessels. What ACE inhibitors do is discourage the action of ACE. This allows the veins and arteries to relax. ACE inhibitors are used for treating high blood pressure.
Common side effects are fatigue, rash, dry cough, low blood pressure as well as fainting. Swelling of lips, tongue, and throat might be experienced by smokers.
Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers – the difference between ARBs and ACE inhibitors is that while ACE inhibitors discourage the production of angiotensin II, ARB acts as a blocker for some receptors of angiotensin II known as AT1 receptors. They help to ward off activities that make the heart pump blood with difficulty.
Alpha-Blockers – hormones known as catecholamines bond with alpha receptors which leads to a rise in blood pressure. Alpha-blockers play a superhero by discouraging binding between catecholamines and alpha receptors. Examples are Doxazosin, Prazosin and terazosin.
Alpha Beta-Blockers – they are similar to alpha-blockers but are known to exhibit an additional function. They block catecholamine hormones from binding with both alpha and beta receptors.
This eases the heart of undue stress by causing a reduction of pressure on the blood vessels. Examples of alpha beta-blockers are labetalol and carvedilol.
Vasodilators – they ease the pressure on the walls of the blood vessels by causing the muscles to relax. This action allows the blood vessels to expand, ensuring the free flow of blood and lowering of blood pressure. Examples are hydrazine and minoxidil.
Central Agonists – they discourage the release of catecholamine by stopping the brain from informing the nervous system to allow it’s release. Examples are methyldopa, clonidine, and guanfacine.
Aldosterone Receptor Antagonists – they allow for a reduction in the number of fluids the body retains. They do this by blocking a chemical known as aldosterone.
Direct Renin Inhibitors – they allow your blood vessels to widen causing the lowering of blood pressure. This is achieved by blocking the chemical known as renin.
Blood Pressure Medication – Lisinopril
Lisinopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used in the treatment of hypertension. It is also used for treating heart failure.
Before taking Lisinopril
Avoid taking lisinopril if;
- You have developed an allergy for it
- You have experienced angioedema
- You have an allergy for ACE inhibitors
- You have taken any drug containing sacubitril
- You are pregnant
- You are below six years of age
- You are on dialysis
- You have suffered from liver or kidney disease
- Your blood contains a high amount of potassium.
Taking of lisinopril should be based totally on your doctor’s advice.
Things to note while taking lisinopril
Avoid getting dehydrated while working out. Also, you might want to stay off drinking alcohol as that might cause the lowering of your blood pressure below safety levels.
Lisinopril Side Effects
Side effects include fatigue, nausea, chest pain, sore throat, dizziness, stool with clay color, jaundice and loss of appetite.
Drugs that interfere with Lisinopril
Some drugs interfere with the functions of lisinopril causing it to be less effective. They include insulin, potassium supplements, diuretics, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Blood pressure Medication Withdrawal Symptoms
It is dangerous to abruptly stop taking drugs prescribed by your doctor for the treatment of blood pressure. This is because abrupt withdrawal can lead to fatal consequences such as stroke.
It is important to notify your doctor before going ahead with the decision to quit taking your medication. Drugs such as Catapres and clonidine if stopped suddenly can lead to a spike in stress hormones like adrenaline and dopamine.
Medication – Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs
It is important to always consult a doctor before taking over the counter drugs as some can dull the functions of prescribed medicine. Some can even cause blood pressure to rise. Decongestants such as oxymetazoline and pseudoephedrine are particularly unsafe.
Also, over the counter drugs should be checked to know if the sodium level is safe enough. Over the counter drugs that can cause a rise in blood pressure are antidepressants, amphetamines, oral contraceptives, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, prednisone, and clozapine.
Best Natural Blood Pressure Medication
A number of herbs have been identified with properties that can lower blood pressure. Herbs such as ginger, garlic, celery seed, flaxseed, hawthorns, basil, French lavender, cinnamon, and cardamom have all been recognized by specialists as being able to actively lower blood pressure.
Magnesium-rich foods like almonds, peanuts, bananas, spinach, and avocado are regarded as natural calcium channel blockers because their functions have been likened to those of CCBs.