Hypertension

Treatment

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition that affects over a billion people worldwide. It is characterized by elevated pressure within the arteries, putting strain on the heart and increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Hypertension typically develops over time and is often referred to as a "silent killer" due to its tendency to present few or no symptoms.

Various risk factors contribute to the development of hypertension, including genetics, age, lifestyle choices (including diet), and certain underlying medical conditions such as obesity. Hypertension can lead to severe health complications, such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, vision impairment, and other medical problems. Fortunately, there are various treatment options for high blood pressure.

If lifestyle changes alone are insufficient, healthcare professionals may prescribe hypertension medications to manage blood pressure effectively. These medications work by relaxing blood vessels or reducing the volume of blood the heart pumps, resulting in decreased pressure of blood pushing against artery walls.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and is expressed as two numbers: systolic pressure (the top number) and diastolic pressure (the bottom number).

Normal Blood Pressure: a reading of less than 130/80

High blood pressure is classified into two stages:

●     Stage 1 Hypertension: a reading of 130-139/80-89

●     Stage 2 Hypertension: a reading of anything over 140/90

In many cases, hypertension does not present any noticeable symptoms. However, some individuals with high blood pressure may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

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Nosebleeds

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Chest pain (angina)

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Fatigue or confusion

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Vision problems (e.g., blurred vision)

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Irregular heartbeat or palpitations 

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Headaches (particularly in the morning)

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Shortness of breath (especially during physical activity)

*NOTE: These symptoms may be caused by conditions other than hypertension. Get your blood pressure tested so that your medical provider can determine whether you need high blood pressure treatment or another type of medical therapy.

Hypertension can arise from various underlying factors, leading to two main categories: primary and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension, the most prevalent form, develops gradually and is influenced by genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Collectively, each contributes to the development of the condition over time.  These factors include: 

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Genetic predisposition and family history.

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Unhealthy diet, particularly high sodium intake.

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Excess body weight and obesity.

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Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise.

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Chronic stress and poor stress management.

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Age-related changes in blood vessels.

Unlike primary hypertension, secondary hypertension has a specific identifiable cause that can be treated or managed to help control blood pressure. These causes include the following:

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Kidney disease, including chronic kidney disease and renal artery stenosis.

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Hormonal imbalances like hyperthyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, or primary aldosteronism.

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Sleep apnea and breathing disruptions during sleep.

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Certain medications, such as NSAIDs, decongestants, and hormonal birth control.

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Pregnancy-related hypertension (gestational hypertension or preeclampsia).

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Adrenal gland disorders affect hormone production.

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Thyroid disorders influencing blood pressure regulation.

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Chronic alcohol consumption contributes to elevated blood pressure.

Despite the separate categories, primary and secondary hypertension are not necessarily isolated from each other. Either can include factors from the other category and develop into the condition over time

A hypertension diagnosis is achieved through blood pressure measurements, with readings consistently above 130/80 mm Hg. Due to there being no hypertension symptoms early on, regular measuring at home and in clinical settings are the best way to get any indication that the body is on the path towards or already has hypertension. There are various tests and measurements that can be taken to diagnose and assess hypertension in both normal and clinical settings:

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Digital and manual blood pressure monitors

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Fitness trackers with blood pressure monitoring

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Measurements conducted during regular check-ups

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24-Hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring

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Urine and blood testing

In addition to prescription medications, hypertension treatment typically involves a comprehensive approach that includes lifestyle modifications and healthy habits to effectively manage blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications. Here are some common strategies often suggested as part of hypertension treatment:

Several classes of medications are prescribed to manage high blood pressure. These include:

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ACE inhibitors

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ARBs

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Calcium channel blockers

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Diuretics

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Beta-blockers

Some of the most commonly prescribed medications for hypertension are:

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Amlodipine (Norvasc)

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Lisinopril (Zestril)

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Losartan

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Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)

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Metoprolol (Lopressor)

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Enalapril

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Valsartan

The specific medication or combination of medications prescribed will depend on your medical history, other medical conditions, and other medications you may be taking. It is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your hypertension, making sure to include healthy lifestyle changes to support your medical treatment.

While there are no hypertension home remedies that lower a person's blood pressure, individuals can adopt several beneficial practices. Start with dietary modifications by limiting sodium intake and incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into meals. Weight management plays a crucial role; maintaining a healthy weight through balanced eating and regular exercise can significantly lower blood pressure. Engaging in physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week can help manage weight and reduce hypertension. Additionally, stress management techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, are valuable for keeping stress-induced blood pressure spikes in check. Limiting alcohol and caffeine, avoiding smoking, and ensuring adequate sleep can also contribute to better blood pressure control. 

Hypertension management and long-term treatment involves a sustained commitment to a healthy lifestyle and ongoing medical management to ensure optimal blood pressure control and reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications. This entails adhering to a balanced diet rich in whole foods and low in sodium, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. Routine blood pressure monitoring at home, complemented by regular healthcare check-ups, allows for continuous evaluation and adjustment of the treatment plan. If prescribed, consistent medication use and adherence to medical recommendations play a crucial role in maintaining stable blood pressure levels. The integration of these practices into daily life, ongoing education about hypertension management, and open communication with healthcare providers foster a proactive and empowered approach to long-term treatment for hypertension.

Hypertension prevention is similar to steps one would take during hypertension treatment, putting the onus on lifestyle. While there is no guaranteed method to completely prevent hypertension, the following factors can significantly reduce the risk of its development:

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Keeping a healthy diet

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Limiting salt intake

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Maintaining a healthy weight

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Getting regular exercise

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Managing stress

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Avoiding alcohol and tobacco

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Monitoring blood pressure

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Limiting caffeine

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Getting quality sleep

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Managing chronic conditions

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Staying hydrated

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Hypertension Overview

How It Works

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Answer questions about your health

Enter patient information and medical history as well as answer questions relating to your symptoms. This should only take about five or ten minutes.

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Our providers will review your visit

Our board-certified medical providers will create a custom treatment plan based on your condition and medical history. You can follow your treatment status with our consultation tracker any time after your visit has been submitted, this is located in your patient dashboard.

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Get Rx delivered to your pharmacy or doorstep

Pick up your prescription at your pharmacy of choice within 1-2 hours.  After you receive your treatment plan, connect with your pharmacy to see when they will have your Rx fulfilled. For some medications we offer home delivery options for your convenience.