Hypertension or high blood pressure is said to be resistant if blood pressure does not go down to normal limits despite three or more antihypertensives. While a single drug is successful in reducing the blood pressure in about 50 to 60 percent of the patients, 85 to 90 percent of them require two or more medications to bring down the blood pressure levels. People who do not respond to treatments are known as resistant hypertensives. Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases which is a significant cause of mortality. Research suggests there is treatment for resistant hypertension with the following diet and lifestyle modifications:-
1. Devout intake of prescribed medication
2. Reducing salt or sodium-chloride intake in the diet – Higher levels of salt in the diet is the primary cause of hypertension and the main factor driving blood pressure higher over time. The blood pressure is known to reduce by 10 to 20 mmHg within few weeks of reducing the salt intake.
3. Unusual period of stress in life may affect the normal lifestyle of a person where the usual doses of antihypertensive medications may not be sufficient to control blood pressure.
4. Reducing caffeine consumption – Excessive caffeine consumption can affect blood pressure in adults consuming more than four cups of coffee per day by increasing it by 5 to 10 mmHg.
5. Reducing alcohol intake – Excessive drinking is also a major factor for the rise in blood pressure levels. If blood pressure is not responding well to the medication, it is worthwhile to reduce the alcohol intake. A better approach may be to stop drinking for a weeks and monitor whether this helps in lowering blood pressure to desirable levels.
6. Keeping a check on excessive weight gain during the recent months. The weight gain may have happened due to a combination of factors including declining physical activity and increased calorie intake. If a person has gained 5 to 10 kgs during the past 6 to 12 months, the weight gain alone could explain the difficulty in controlling the blood
7. Checking chances of a secondary hypertension – Between 10 to 20 percent of the patients with hypertension have resistant hypertension. Secondary high blood pressure is high blood pressure that is caused by other medical conditions such as diabetic complications or kidney diseases.