If your blood pressure just keeps going up, what can you do to bring it down? Here’s what to do when your blood pressure won’t drop.
Resistant hypertension happens when your blood pressure stays above a set goal even after taking medications. This type of high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease, stroke, dementia, and other conditions. If you’re experiencing resistant hypertension, there are a couple of things you can do when your blood pressure won’t drop.
1. Review Your Medications
Collect all the medications and supplements you are taking (or make a list) and take them to your doctor. They’ll be able to help identify any drugs or supplements that may be increasing your blood pressure.
For instance, NSAIDs like ibuprofen and decongestants, certain antidepressants, and corticosteroids can raise your blood pressure. “Alternative medications or physical therapy to relieve arthritis pain can decrease or eliminate the need for NSAIDs, helping reduce blood pressure in some patients,” says Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, a Harvard cardiologist and editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter.
2. Manage Underlying Causes
You may have an underlying cause that is increasing your blood pressure (BP), so get your conditions under control. For example, sleep apnea pauses breathing during sleep and can increase your BP as well as your risk of dying. Conditions like this will need a diagnosis and even a study to figure out what you have.
3. Additional Causes
Other common reasons for resistant hypertension include consuming too much salt and adjusting your own doses. It may also be due to weight gain, chronic pain, high alcohol consumption, atherosclerosis, panic attacks, and other factors.
Treating Resistant Hypertension
While leading a healthy lifestyle is great for dealing with hypertension, you may need to increase your efforts. Things you can do include eating a low-sodium, plant-based diet, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy weight. “Sometimes losing just 5 or 10 pounds can make a meaningful difference in blood pressure for people who are overweight,” says Bhatt.
Also, if you’re not exercising, then you can start doing aerobic exercises at your level and gradually increase your efforts. Some studies show that walking and/or cycling for 40 minutes, three times a week, may lower your BP by five to seven points.
“No matter what you are taking now, your doctor should be able to make affordable changes in your blood pressure medications to bring down your numbers,” says Bhatt. As you work with your doctor to lower your blood pressure numbers, consider taking supplements like L-arginine Plus.
It contains various vitamins and minerals, as well as l-arginine and l-citrulline, that effectively promote your blood pressure health. Give your heart health the support it deserves and talk to your doctor about taking L-arginine Plus.