Hypertension Treatment

Resistant Hypertension- What Is It and Can It Be Treated?

There are some cases of high blood pressure which are difficult to treat. These cases may require a combination of drugs (including a diuretic) in order to control blood pressure levels. Those cases of high blood pressure which do not respond to an optimal three drug treatment regimen are then labeled as resistant hypertension.

When Do You Know It Is Resistant Hypertension?
Resistant hypertension is like other types of hypertension, characterized by elevated blood pressure levels. What sets it apart from the rest is that this hypertension does not respond to a treatment regimen comprised of a combination of three drugs. If treatment results come out to be negative on two separate occasions and when there is no measurement inaccuracy involved, the hypertension case is labeled as that of resistant hypertension.

Causes of Resistant Hypertension
Resistant hypertension is caused by a combination of reasons. Usually, the elimination method is used to find out the cause of it. Different tests are carried to rule out the possibilities of certain causes and types of hypertension (white coat hypertension and pseudohypertension). Whatever be the chronology of tests, the chief causes of resistant hypertension are as follows:

* Fluid Retention
* Secondary Hypertension
* Patient noncompliance

Of the above mentioned three causes, the most oft encountered cause is that of patient noncompliance. In this case, the patient does not adhere to the prescribed treatment regimen.

However, noncompliance does not always means that the patient at fault. Noncompliance could indicate hindering factors which are beyond the patient's control. These include situations like high cost of treatment, unavailability of the prescribed drug in the local drugstore, and recurring side-effects from some types of medications.

Can Resistant Hypertension Be Treated?
The answer to the above mentioned question is "Yes". Resistant hypertension can be treated by treating the underlying cause of the problem. For example, if the real problem causing resistant hypertension is patient noncompliance then ways are figured out to make the patient compliant with the treatment regime.

Further, if the underlying causes are factors such as hormonal imbalances then drugs are administered to normalize the imbalance. Similarly, if it is a case of imbalance of body fluids then the patient's body fluid levels are normalized with the help of dialysis of blood. Other methods to invoke patient compliance include steps such as the following:

* Asking the patient to reduce weight
* Asking the patient to modify his/her diet plan.
* Moderating the patient's consumption of alcohol
* Limiting the amount of salt consumed by the patient
* Increasing the patient's daily dose of physical activity
* Removing medications which evoke allergic reactions from the body.