There are so many blood pressure treatments to choose from. How do you know which one is right for you?
You and your doctor will work together to find a blood pressure treatment plan that fits your needs and your lifestyle. The recommended approach for most people is to start with a healthy living plan that includes:
- a low-salt, healthy diet
- moderate alcohol intake
- regular physical activity
- relaxation therapies
- smoking cessation
- weight reduction
These changes have been proven to lower blood pressure.
Some people may also need to add medications to their plan; this depends on your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is quite high, you may need to start a medication right away. If not, your doctor may recommend you try the healthy living plan on its own for a few months to see how much it will reduce your blood pressure. If you can reach a healthy blood pressure using healthy living, you won't need any medication. Otherwise, your doctor may recommend you start a medication.
Starting a medication does not mean you should stop your healthy living plan. These changes can help your medications work better and make you healthier.
So which medication is best? The answer depends on your body and medical history, your preferences, and your schedule. Your doctor will consider all of these factors when recommending a medication. Many people will start on a diuretic, alone or in combination with another type of blood pressure medication, such as ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, or calcium channel blockers. Your doctor may recommend a different medication if you have certain medical conditions, including:
- chronic kidney disease
- heart failure
- history of heart attack or stroke
Not sure if you're on the best medication? Talk to your doctor about your blood pressure treatment plan and whether it's meeting your needs.
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