When blood pressure medicine isn’t enough

When blood pressure medicine isn’t enough

Resistant hypertension is defined as high blood pressure that doesn’t respond well to medical treatment. A diagnosis of resistant hypertension is made when:

  • A patient is taking 3 different medications for blood pressure, each at its maximally tolerated doses, but the blood pressure medication isn’t working
  • One of the blood pressure medications is a diuretic ( water pill)
  • Blood pressure numbers remain uncontrolled — over 140/90

The treatment for resistant hypertension usually involves a change or an addition of a fourth medication and determining the primary as well as secondary causes of the condition. Any treatment plan will include monitoring your BP at home several times each day to determine BP patterns and if new treatments are effective in lowering your numbers to acceptable levels.

Ivy Health Labs has designed smart wrist and arm blood pressure monitors that provide you with a convenient way to track and record your BP at home any time of day or night. By downloading our free app, you can sync the monitors with your mobile device and store all measurements in the the Ivy Cloud.

With this technology, you can share this data with your doctor so that, working as a team, you can track your resistant hypertension to see if changes in medications and/or lifestyle changes are having the desired effect.

Resisting resistant hypertension

In addition to treating your resistant hypertension with medications, your doctor will want to determine what, if any, secondary causes are contributing to your uncontrollable blood pressure. In approximately 25% of people diagnosed with resistant hypertension, a secondary cause is the source of the problem.

Some secondary causes that may contribute to resistant hypertension are:

  • Abnormalities in the hormones responsible for controlling blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Sleep problems such as obstructive sleep apnea
  • Diabetes
  • Atherosclerotic disease

One of the most common secondary causes of resistant hypertension has to do with kidney health. Patients with chronic kidney disease need to focus on restricting their sodium intake and making sure that they’re taking all of their BP medications as prescribed.

Monitoring your blood pressure

Possible treatment options for resistant hypertension will include dealing with any secondary causes that may be contributing to the problem, making appropriate lifestyle changes, and adjusting, changing, or adding medications to find the combination and dosage that’s right for you.

An important part of any treatment plan for resistant hypertension patients is having the ability to monitor their BP at home. A smart blood pressure monitor from Ivy Health makes it possible for you to track patterns in you BP numbers and to spot potential warning signs which give both you and your doctor the information necessary to make changes to medications as well as to your lifestyle to get your blood pressure back under control.

Ivy Health’s smart blood pressure monitors make it easy to stay on top of your hypertension in order to reduce your risk of developing health problems and improve your total health.