Lowering Resistant Blood Pressure Through Exercise and Diet

Christopher Fuentes, PharmD Candidate Class of 2022
The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy

October 26, 2021

Resistant Hypertension

Resistant hypertension is high blood pressure that’s uncontrolled even with medical treatment. High blood pressure is considered resistant when a patient is taking 3 blood pressure medications at the highest dose and one of the three is a diuretic or “water pill”, and the blood pressure is above your goal. Resistant high blood pressure can also mean a patient requires 4 or more medications to help control it.

Consequences of hypertension

Often high blood pressure may not have any symptoms, but over the long term, it can lead to other issues. High blood pressure is the world’s leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, disability, and death. 

Goals

Current guidelines recommend a goal blood pressure to be less than 130/80. It’s important to discuss specific goals your provider may have for you because they may be different depending on many factors.

What can be done

It’s important to continue taking your medications as prescribed by your doctor. Blood pressure can also be managed through a healthy diet.

Besides medication and diet, blood pressure can also be controlled through regular physical activity. (Remember to speak to your provider before starting any exercise plan.) Physical activity can help to strengthen the heart, which helps the heart pump more blood with less effort. As the force on arteries decreases, the blood pressure will also go down. Physical activity can also help maintain a healthy body weight.

How much exercise do you need?

The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise 5 to 7 days per week. Some examples of recommended exercises include swimming, cycling, use of ellipticals, walking or running.

Managing high blood pressure through diet

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet can be helpful in lowering blood pressure. This diet plan helps lower blood pressure by focusing on whole foods. This diet incorporates dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It is also lower in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars and sodium. Diets low in saturated fats have shown to decrease blood pressure.

Work with your doctor

Blood pressure can vary for each patient, but it is important to work with your provider to determine a healthy goal. The management of high blood pressure is dependent on many factors such as medications, lifestyle changes, and diet.

If your doctor prescribes medications for your hypertension, ScriptSave® WellRx can give you tools to help you find the best medication prices and manage your prescription. Sign up today for free.

References:

  1. Resistant Hypertension | Johns Hopkins Medicine
  2. Resistant Hypertension: Detection, Evaluation, and Management: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association | Hypertension (ahajournals.org)
  3. https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/heart-and-cardiovascular-health/dash-diet-reducing-hypertension-through-diet-and-lifestyle

 

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