When Your Medication Isn't Enough: 3 Reasons For Poorly-Controlled Hypertension

Most people are prescribed medication for hypertension because having high blood pressure for any length of time can lead to irreparable damage. In some cases, you might take your medication as prescribed, but your blood pressure might still be high. There are a few changes that might help bring your blood pressure back to a normal level.

You Need Your Medication Changed

If this is your first time taking a blood pressure medication, it is normal to need your medication changed until you find the right type of medication and dosage that works while keeping any side effects to a minimum. Some people are prescribed diuretics first to lower their blood pressure. Usually, they may need an ACE-inhibitor or beta-blocker combined with a diuretic to successfully lower their blood pressure. Many people receive an ACE-inhibitor as the next step, but it is not uncommon to experience a chronic dry cough with this class of medications. If this occurs, a beta-blocker might be a better option. A beta-blocker might be used first if you have other cardiovascular issues, such as an usually rapid heart rate. People with treatment-resistant hypertension could be prescribed multiple classes of blood pressure medications if one class alone is not helpful.

You Need To Change Your Diet

It is important to reduce sodium in your diet when you have hypertension. Unnecessary salt causes you to retain more fluid and raise your blood pressure. For people with hypertension, they may need to lower their salt intake well below typical recommendations or eliminate it entirely. It is not enough to take your medication and assume these medicines counteract a bad diet. This method never works and often leads people with hypertension to take more medication and higher doses to more aggressively control their blood pressure. Your diet overall may need to change if you have hypertension and excess weight. Many people who were formerly overweight and had hypertension noticed a significant decrease in their blood pressure after losing weight, which allowed them to reduce or stop taking medications.

You Need To Address Stress And Anxiety

Ongoing problems with stress and anxiety can cause your blood pressure to skyrocket even if you are taking medication. Unfortunately, both stress and anxiety can increase your risk of vascular disease, so the risk is even higher if you have hypertension. If you are having problems dealing with stress or have other mental health concerns, do not be afraid to address your concerns with your family doctor. Many family physicians are the first resource for mental health treatment, which can involve prescribing medications. They will also refer you to someone for therapy or a psychiatrist if they do not feel comfortable handling the prescribing of medications for mental health.

Although controlling hypertension with a pill seems simple, the disease can be much more complex and hard to control. If your medication is not effective, there are often other factors you should consider to reach a safe blood pressure.