Question: I have hypertension and would like to know if drugs the best or only way?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Hypertension stresses and kills the cell lining of your arteries, which feed your tissues with oxygen, nutrients, glucose, and hormones. The most recognizable adverse effects associated with uncontrolled high blood pressure are aneurisms, premature heart attacks, kidney failure, and strokes.
For some people, a reduction of dietary salt — to 2,000 milligrams a day or less — helps reduce blood pressure. Weight and stress management can also help. But hypertension needs attention early, and until other factors can be modified, drug therapy is usually advised.
You can always taper the drug therapy to fine tune your blood pressure as other risk factors are managed and modified. A salt-reduced diet often takes weeks to produce results, and weight reduction may take months or years.
Sometimes there are other causes such as hyperthyroidism, or renal artery stenosis (blocked or narrowed renal artery) that can be remedied by other medication or surgical management. But in the meantime drug management with lifestyle changes remain at the mainstay of treatment for most people regardless of cause.
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