If your doctor has told you that you have resistant hypertension, don`t go pressing the panic button, or become offended. First, you should have asked what that meant. By rights, that information should have been relayed to you so that you didn`t panic.
Many people have not even asked their doctor the question, "What is high blood pressure?" either. Asking questions will help you better understand your body and how best to help it heal.
To understand what could be causing the problem, you need to know what the term means.
Your doctor will have prescribed you 1 to 3 medications at some point that included diuretics. If the treatment of a single drug did not lower blood pressure, then the additional drugs would be prescribed in combination to see if they would work. This is the normal procedure.
If your blood pressure is still high after monitoring the effect of the treatment over a period of time, your doctor will then diagnose you with resistant hypertension.
Apparently this method could be causing a rise in the blood pressure of many patients.
When Should it be Diagnosed?
There are some standard guidelines to follow before that diagnosis is passed. The doctor must be using the correct blood pressure measuring methods, which includes the correct cuff size for your arm. Your blood pressure should be taken on two separate occasions. But you need ask more questions. What could be causing it? Your doctor should then endeavor to find out by a series of elimination questions.
He might ask you how you feel when you come into the surgery. This is because some people have an underlying fear of doctors. This is quite common, where people are usually not aware of it. It is called "white coat hypertension." Now it is recommended by the American Heart Association, American Society of Hypertension and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses' Association, that patients should monitor their blood pressure at home to get a more accurate overall reading. Could "white coat" be causing your resistant hypertension?
You may be asked if you are having problems with taking the medications. Some patients refuse to take their prescription, and there are others experiencing problems. It could be that they don`t wish to be treated with conventional therapy; are having unpleasant side effects; find them hard to swallow; forget to take them, or can`t remember how many they have taken. This type of problem comes under the heading "Patient Non-compliance". and the doctor should try to resolve these issues.
If you are have none of these problems, it could be that the resistant hypertension is caused by "Secondary Hypertension". This can be the result of a wide variety of underlying causes such as, renal (e.g. - kidney failure or fluid retention); hormonal (e.g.- overactive adrenal glands); potassium deficiency; sleep deficiency (e.g.- Sleep Apnea); side effects of medication (e.g.- NSAIDs, steroid). But only 5% tend to suffer secondary hypertension from these causes. On the other hand, you could be on the wrong high blood pressure medication. See my page on Beta blockers.
Your doctor may refer you for blood tests for further diagnosis, or change medications to see if there are any positive changes.
To refuse to take medication that can manifest as resistant hypertension, is not always a bad thing, especially when you want to try changing lifestyle habits first to see if that brings down the blood pressure.
This site has a pool of information on how to go about making those changes. If you don`t try the natural way then medication is what your doctor will prescribe, and if that fails, you may be in line for the New Renal denervation operation that has been passed as safe. But at least try natures` way first.