Essential hypertension


If you have been diagnosed with essential hypertension it means you have high blood pressure without a known reason and it is not caused by another condition. It is important to have it treated, since having high blood pressure for extended periods of time can damage essential organs such as your heart, kidneys, and blood vessels in general. It can also put you at risk for myocardial infarction (MI)(heart attack), or cerebral vascular accident (CVA)(stroke). Blood pressure is the result of your heart pumping blood and your arteries or arterioles not stretching sufficiently to make room for the amount of blood. Generally, if your doctor or provider detects your blood pressure is elevated, on 2 separate occasions he or she may counsel you to keep a 1 week log with blood pressure readings taken at the same time each day for a week. If your blood pressure is found to be consistently over 140/90 your provider may assess your cardiovascular risks by a medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests and possibly diagnostic procedures. Tests to be included prior to deciding to start you on blood pressure medication are 12 lead electrocardiogram (ECG), urinalysis, blood glucose, hematocrit, potassium level in the blood, creatinine, calcium and a lipid profile. Your provider may start you on a low dose thiazide diuretic as HCTZ aka hydrochlorothiazide. The main medications used to treat hypertension fall into the categories of  diuretics as thiazides, angiotensin converting enzymes inhibitors (ACEs), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), beta blockers (BBs), and calcium channel blockers (CCBs). Most hypertension management is achieved through the use of at least two antihypertensive medication. An anti hypertension regimen may work like this : an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor such as Ramipril 5 mg combined with a thiazide diuretic as HCTZ 12.5 mg. The thiazide will help reduce vascular resistance and the ACE inhibitor prevents the conversion of angiotensin I into angiotensin II a powerful vasoconstrictor. Similar drugs within the ACE class are Benazepril, Captopril, Enalapril, Fosinopril, Lisinopril, Moexipril, Perindopril, Quinapril, Ramipril, Trandolapril. Drugs in the thiazide class of diuretics are Hydrochlorothiazide, Bendroflumethiazide, Chortalidone.

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