The BEST Ways to Manage High Blood Pressure

Posted on November 23, 2016 by Joe Jensen

High blood pressure can lead to serious health consequences--heart disease, kidney disease, strokes and even death. We all know someone with high blood pressure, and that's no coincidence since over 70% of people in the United States over the age of 65 have high blood pressure and more than half of these people don’t have it under control. That's a lot of people!

As with many chronic diseases, the best way to treat high blood pressure is to prevent it altogether. And the best way to prevent high blood pressure is with lifestyle choices like a healthy diet, exercising regularly, consuming alcohol responsibly and not smoking. However, life happens. More often than not, the life we live can lead to high blood pressure. That's no reason to despair. The above healthy lifestyle choices play a major role in controlling blood pressure, but when those are not enough, medications are the next best option.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a report that looked more deeply into optimal blood pressure management. There is a tremendous amount of evidence concluding that appropriately controlling blood pressure reduces the risk of negative health consequences. The surprise, however, is that 5 million people covered by Medicare Part D aren't taking their blood pressure medications as prescribed, a phenomenon known as medication non-adherence.

The causes of medication non-adherence are not as straightforward as you might think. Some common causes include a lack of understanding why medications are needed, the high cost of medications, forgetting to take the medications on a daily basis, or even neglecting to fill the prescription altogether. These reasons quickly make medication non-adherence a complex problem, and a complex problem requires a thoughtful solution.

Here are some highlights of the suggestions put forth by the CDC that you can use to help manage high blood pressure.

  • Talk to your doctor about why blood pressure medications are so important as better understanding tends to lead to higher adherence rates
  • Talk to your doctor about simplifying your medication schedule as a complicated regimen can result in missed doses
  • Monitor your blood pressure in the home on a regular basis as this provides doctors with the best insight as to how to adjust your medications if necessary. Check with your insurance provider to see if this service is covered; otherwise reasonably priced machines can be bought over the counter
  • Use tools such as pillboxes and automatic reminder applications to help manage medications and get valuable tracking data that will help the doctors and nurses provide better care. Families play a crucial role in managing blood pressure. They spend more time with the patient than a doctor does and as such can participate in ensuring medications are taken correctly and on time

To read the entire article follow the link here:
CDC Vital Signs High Blood Pressure Report

These are just some of the steps we can all take together toward managing high blood pressure the BEST way possible. Think about the ways you can integrate the above suggestions into your care or that of a loved one.