Thriving with Resistant Hypertension

​Resistant hypertension is when blood pressure cannot be controlled despite the use of a diuretic and at least two other high blood pressure medications. About 20 to 30 percent of people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure have resistant hypertension. 

If you're having trouble keeping your blood pressure under control, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. 
If you've been diagnosed with resistant hypertension, the following tips may help you keep your blood pressure under control:

  • Get to a healthy weight. Obesity is a risk factor of hypertension, and staying at an unhealthy weight after you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure contributes to resistant hypertension. Regular exercise and a healthy diet is the best way to get to a healthy weight.
  • If you have diabetes, keep it under control. Diabetes is also a risk factor of hypertension, so poor control of diabetes can contribute to resistant hypertension.
  • ​Take your blood pressure medications as prescribed. If you fail to take your blood pressure medications as prescribed, your blood pressure will go up. If you have trouble remembering to take your medicines, ask your physician for tips on how to remember them. Also, never stop taking a medication without your doctor's approval.
  • Limit your salt and alcohol intake. Consuming too much salt and/or alcohol can increase blood pressure. Ask your physician for guidelines to help you know what amount of salt and/or alcohol is OK for you to consume. The amounts differ based on your gender and type of alcohol (e.g., beer versus hard liquor).
  • Know which drugs effect blood pressure. Some drugs can raise blood pressure, and some interfere with blood pressure medications. Examples of drugs that can interfere with blood pressure control include over-the-counter pain relievers, nasal decongestants, diet pills and some herbal compounds. Make sure all of your healthcare providers know which blood pressure medications you are taking, and ask your pharmacist for a list of drugs you should avoid.
  • Get other health conditions diagnosed and under control. Conditions like sleep apnea and diseases of the adrenal glands and kidneys can cause resistant hypertension. See your primary care provider annually to make sure all health conditions are diagnosed and managed.

​The resistant hypertension clinic at The Christ Hospital specializes in helping people with resistant hypertension. To learn more about the clinic's multidisciplinary approach to high blood pressure treatment, visit  here, or call 1-866-242-5358 to schedule an appointment.

​Dr. Szawaluk joined Ohio Heart and Vascular Center in 2002. As a non-invasive cardiologist, he specializes in clinical cardiology, hypertension, echocardiography stress testing and nuclear cardiology.​