In normal circumstances, your blood pressure (BP) is bound to rise when experiencing excitement or stress. However, when the blood pressure continues to remain high for an extended period of time, it then becomes a medical condition known as “hypertension“. The good part is that this complication can be treating using drugs.
However, there exist cases where a person’s blood pressure simply does not respond to medical treatment. This unique high BP condition is called resistant hypertension.
Hypertension and Its Treatment Resistant Variant
The blood is carried to and from different parts of the body through arteries and veins. Therefore, both the heart as well as the resistance faced by the blood traveling through the arteries and veins will produce a certain blood pressure. Generally, a BP reading in the range of 140/90 denotes hypertension in an adult when it continues to be on the higher side for a long period of time. The longer hypertension prevails, the more the risk you face from suffering a heart attack, stroke or even kidney failure.
The prefix ‘resistant’ gets added to hypertension if your blood pressure does not drop to a desired level despite medications. However medical convention dictates that you have to go through three different types of hypertension medications including the commonly used diuretic class of drugs without much success, before the hypertensive condition can be termed ‘resistant’.
Symptoms and Causes Of Resistant Hypertension
Basically, there can be a number of symptoms to indicate high BP; headaches, dizziness, buzzing around the ear and frequent nosebleeds to name a few. But these aren’t proper signs given that the same symptoms could point to a dozen other health problems. Moreover, hypertension would be at a life threatening stage by the time these symptoms even begin to appear. Therefore, high BP (the resistant variant included) is generally considered to be independent of symptoms.
Conversely, underlying causes of tough-to-treat hypertension are many and even are considered important with respect to devising treatments. For starters, the complication mainly arises over time when you do not take your hypertension medicines on time or in the manner prescribed by your doctor. Sleep apnea too has been associated with hypertension of the resistant type.
Sometimes hypertension is induced by another existing condition. In some cases, this secondary hypertension produced from overactive adrenal glands makes the high BP condition difficult to treat. A similar eventuality is seen with fluid retention within the system due to kidney failure. When this condition goes unchecked for long, the hypertension produced as a result becomes virtually resistant to treatment.
Typically, diagnosing resistant hypertension is a tricky affair given the many facets of blood pressure testing such as the measuring instruments, time of taking the reading, posture of the person during the test, etc. For instance, a person testing at the office will always get a higher reading owing to stress as compared to measuring the BP home.
Therefore, doctors encourage patients to keep a record of the BP readings taken twice a day, over a period of time to make an informed diagnosis. Also, based on these collective readings, your doctor will then tell you go for specific tests to ascertain if the hypertension is truly resistant or simply difficult to treat.
Mostly, treatment for resistant hypertension is done with respect to the underlying causes. So, if the root cause for hypertension is sleep apnea, kidney failure or hyperactive adrenal glands, then those specific aspects are treated first and its impact on your BP is registered before taking the next course of action.
Tags: blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, health, hypertension