Bringing Down High Blood Pressure (Heart Health)
For many people, lifestyle changes are very effective weapons against hypertension (high blood pressure). If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, your doctor is likely to recommend dietary changes, an exercise regimen, and other healthy habits first in an effort to bring down your numbers. If your blood pressure remains elevated even after you make those changes (or if it’s dangerously high and needs quick action), your doctor will probably suggest that you start on medication.
Drugs that lower blood pressure can reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease â€” but not all blood pressure medications are alike. A recent study found that simple diuretics (“water pills”) work better than some newer drugs to treat hypertension and to prevent some forms of heart disease. Your doctor may prescribe a diuretic first, or in combination with other blood pressure-lowering drugs.
It may take a little while to find the best dosage, drug, or drug combination for you, so be patient â€” and be a good patient. Take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribes it, and promptly report any uncomfortable side effects. Talk to your doctor about changing the dosage or switching to another drug if you’re not happy with the regimen you’re on.
And remember â€” those lifestyle changes will help any medicine work more effectively. In fact, the healthier your daily habits, the more likely that you’ll be able to reduce or eliminate the medication you take.