Hypertension is becoming an increasingly common problem among patients. Increased stress and demands from the workplace, inadequate physical activity, diet, alcohol usage, and tobacco usage can all contribute to high blood pressure. Most of these can be addressed by changes to daily routine.
However, when lifestyle changes don’t bring long-term blood pressure levels to acceptable levels, it may be time to consider Beta Blockers for Hypertension.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is defined as blood pressure higher than 140 over 90 mm Hg. The first number is the Systolic reading, which is the pressure of the blood as it is pumped around the body. The second reading is the Diastolic reading, which measures as the heart relaxes and refills with blood.
Both or either of these measurements can be high to classify as hypertension. Hypertension is not diagnosed during one visit, but is determined by using readings from several visits.
A number of factors can lead to hypertension. It can be an inherited trait. Other causes or contributing factors are salt-rich or fatty diets, alcohol usage, tobacco usage, physical inactivity, age, and weight.
Occasional high blood pressure is normal and not a cause for concern in and of itself. Excitement, anxiety, physical activity, and even sleep all cause changes in blood pressure.
Consistent and long-term high blood pressure, however, can lead to problems. The narrowing of blood vessels which comes with hypertension can cause long-term complications, including a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
Beta Blockers and Hypertension
Beta blockers – or beta-adrenergic blocking agents – are drugs which can be used to treat hypertension. They are usually used in conjunction with other medications.
These drugs block the effects of adrenaline from your system. As a result, the heart doesn’t have to work quite as hard, since less oxygen and blood are required to function. In turn, blood pressure decreases.
Beta-blockers can also treat abnormal heart rhythms and control heart rates, since they help blood vessels open up and improve blood flow.
There are many types of beta blockers, including:
Each of these has its own specific benefit and effect, as well as possible side effects. Your physician will prescribe the one that is right for you, in addition to lifestyle changes, in order to bring your blood pressure down to a good level.
Lifestyle Changes to Lower Blood Pressure
While beta blockers are generally prescribed as a secondary option, such as when lifestyle changes or other medication aren’t working, there are certain daily lifestyle changes you can make to reduce high blood pressure levels:
- Eat less salty foods. Sodium has a direct relation to high blood pressure level, and is easy to reduce in diets. Check the nutritional guides on food packaging, and cut back on the salt you add to food you cook.
- Reduce the amount of fatty or processed food you eat, and increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
- Exercise! 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week has been shown to decrease high blood pressure.
- Moderate your alcohol consumption. A couple of drinks now and then aren’t bad, but excessive drinking can be harmful to your system.
- If you are a smoker, then consider quitting. Smoking cessation has benefits not just for blood pressure, but for your whole body.
If these lifestyle changes are not keeping blood pressure within acceptable levels, then your physician may consider using medication, which may include beta blockers, to treat your hypertension.
Florida Medical Clinic’s Cardiology Department
While hypertension may not seem dangerous or urgent to treat in the short term, the long term damage it can cause to your heart, blood vessels, and ultimately overall health is significant. No one wants heart disease, stroke, or aneurisms!
Florida Medical Clinic’s Cardiology Department is committed to maintaining your heart’s health. We have heart care physicians at our North Tampa, Carrollwood, Town ‘N’ Country, Brandon, Sun City Center, Land O’Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and Zephyrhills locations. Visit our website to find out which location is most convenient to you.
There are plenty of options to lower your risk of cardiovascular problems, and our cardiology team is ready to work with you to find your customized solution!