High blood pressure diagnosis and treatment - High blood pressure can be known by doing blood tests. Because high blood pressure often does not cause symptoms and is more often experienced by someone who is elderly. Adults, especially those over the age of 40 and at high risk, are advised to have at least a blood check every year.
The following stages are the correct blood tests using a blood pressure measuring device (sphygmomanometer), in order to obtain accurate results:
- Patients should not exercise, smoke, and consume caffeine-containing drinks 30 minutes before blood pressure checks are carried out.
- The patient is asked to sit quietly on a chair, with feet resting on the floor.
- Make sure you urinate before doing a blood test.
- Both doctors and patients may not speak during the examination.
- Remove clothes that cover the cuff mounting area.
- Blood pressure is measured in both arms. For further blood pressure measurements, use an arm with a higher blood pressure to measure it.
- Blood pressure measurement is repeated at least 2 times with a 1-2 minute pause.
If needed, the doctor will recommend supporting examinations, such as blood, urine, or X-rays, to see the possible complications that have been caused by high blood pressure.
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Prevention of high blood pressure
You can prevent high blood pressure in the following ways:
- Maintain an ideal body weight. Overweight can make a person more at risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Exercise regularly. A person who is actively exercising will be more protected from the risk of developing hypertension. Take a brisk walk or cycle 2-3 hours every week.
- Routinely eating foods that are low in fat and rich in fiber. For example, bread from grains, brown rice, and fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce salt. Limit in food, not more than one teaspoon.
- Reduce alc0h0l consumption. Eating more than the recommended alcohol dose can increase the risk of hypertension.
- Quit sm0king. Although cigarettes do not cause hypertension directly, cigarettes can make arteries narrow, thus increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Caffeine consumption as recommended. Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day can increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Complications of hypertension (High blood pressure complications)
High blood pressure can damage blood vessels and other organs in the body. If left untreated and not treated immediately, high blood pressure can cause serious diseases, such as:
- Atherosclerosis. High blood pressure triggers hardening of the arteries, which is then accompanied by accumulation of fat in the walls of blood vessels. This condition is called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can cause heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease.
- Vision loss. This condition occurs due to thickening and narrowing of blood vessels in the eye.
- An aneurysm is formed. High blood pressure can trigger blood vessels to weaken and dilate. If this condition continues, blood vessels can rupture and cause death.
- Kidney failure. High blood pressure can trigger constriction of blood vessels in the kidneys.
- Heart failure. The high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body.
- Vascular dementia. High blood pressure can cause interference with blood flow to the brain.
Read too: Heart Attack Symptoms
High blood pressure treatment
Undergoing a healthy lifestyle and consumption of antihypertensive drugs can be an effective step to overcoming high blood pressure. The value of blood pressure and the risk of patient developing complications, such as heart attacks and strokes, will determine the treatment to be undertaken. In general, there are 2 principles of treating high blood pressure, namely:
Changing your lifestyle with a healthy lifestyle can reduce your blood pressure in a few weeks. The healthy lifestyle that needs to be lived, among others:
- Adopt a DASH diet (dietary approaches to stop hypertension), which is a diet that consumes more fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, wheat, and nuts, compared to red meat and foods that contain saturated fat and high cholesterol.
- Try to reduce the consumption of salt with a dose of less than one teaspoon per day.
- Expand physical activity and exercise regularly.
- Lose weight.
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid or reduce consumption of alc0h0lic beverages.
- Reduce consumption of drinks such as coffee, tea, or cola because they contain high caffeine.
- Take relaxation therapy, for example, yoga or meditation to control stress.
The above methods can be done with or without the accompanying consumption of anti-hypertensive drugs. Even so, the adoption of a healthy lifestyle earlier can make patients avoid the consumption of anti-hypertensive drugs.
Use of drugs
In some cases, people with high blood pressure must take medication for life. However, doctors can reduce medication doses or stop treatment if the patient's blood pressure can be controlled by changing lifestyles. It is important for patients to take the drug at a prescribed dose and notify the doctor if any side effects appear. Some drugs used to treat high blood pressure include: Performing relaxation therapy, for example, yoga or meditation to control stress.
- Diuretics. This drug serves to eliminate excess salt and fluid in your body through urine. Among types of diuretic drugs is hydrochlorothiazide.
- Calcium antagonist. Calcium antagonists reduce blood pressure by dilating blood vessels. Some examples of these drugs are types of amlodipine and nifedipine.
- Beta-blocker. Serves to lower blood pressure by dilating the vessels and slowing the heart rate. Examples of beta-blocker drugs are atenolol and bisoprolol.
- ACE inhibitors. ACE inhibitors reduce blood pressure by making the vessel wall relax more. Some examples of these drugs are captopril and ramipril.
- Angiotensin-2 receptor blocker (ARB). The function of this drug is almost the same as ACE inhibitors which make the blood vessel wall relax so that both drugs should not be given simultaneously. Examples of these drugs are losartan and valsartan.
- Renin inhibitors. This drug functions to inhibit the work of renin, an enzyme produced by the kidneys and functions to increase blood pressure. Examples of renin inhibitors are aliskiren.
For the dose of use of these medicines please consult with your doctor.