Has your doctor ever told you your blood pressure is high?
About 75% of American adults have hypertension, and only half of them have their blood pressure under control.
If hypertension isn’t managed, it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and death.
There are new medications on the market these days though, that can help keep your blood pressure under control. One of them is a beta-blocker called Bystolic.
This article will look at hypertension, treatments, and help you figure out what’s right for you.
1. What is Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?
Before we talk about high blood pressure, let’s look at the purpose of blood pressure.
Blood pressure is how fast and hard your heart works to pump blood through your body. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients around, so it’s important that it flows regularly and easily.
It might seem like we should have the same blood pressure all the time, but that wouldn’t be good. It’s important that our bodies can have a higher blood pressure because if we’re in danger, we need to be able to think and move quickly.
Pumping more blood at a faster pace protects us when we need to fight or flee.
One example of this might be meeting a bear in the woods. You need your blood flowing quickly so you can fight the bear or run away. If your blood pressure didn’t increase when you ran or fought, you’d probably pass out from lack of oxygen to your brain.
High blood pressure only becomes a problem when you have it all the time, not just when you’re in trouble or working hard.
2. How is Blood Pressure Measured?
When you get your blood pressure checked, it’s typically read to you in two numbers, like 120 over 60.
The first number is systolic pressure, the second is diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when your heart is actually pumping blood. Dystolic pressure is measured in between your heartbeats when no blood is being pumped.
These bullets shows the different categories of blood pressure:
- Less than 120 over Less than 80- You’re blood pressure is great
- 120-129 over 80 or less- You’re a little high, which is called elevated blood pressure but is still okay
- 130-139 over 80-89- This is stage one hypertension
- 140 or higher over 90 or higher- This is stage two hypertension
- More than 180 over more than 120- This is called a hypertensive crisis; you must call your doctor immediately, or you may have a heart attack or stroke
Both stages of hypertension increase a person’s risk of stroke and heart attack. This is why high blood pressure can be deadly.
People with stage 2 hypertension often need medication in addition to other common treatments to manage their blood pressure.
3. What are Common Treatments?
Your diet has a huge impact on hypertension. If your blood pressure is high, try eating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish, poultry, and nuts. Reduce the amount of dairy, saturated fats, sugar, soda pop, salt, and red meats you eat.
Drinking alcohol and smoking can make hypertension worse. If your blood pressure is high, try to quit these habits or at least do them less.
If your blood pressure is high, you should exercise several days a week. You can swim, jog, walk, or bike, but make sure you do something for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.
A lot of medications can also help hypertension. Here are a few of them:
Beta-blockers (like Bystolic)- These medications reduce stress in the heart and brain blood vessels by blocking epinephrine/adrenaline.
Diuretics- This type of medication lowers your blood pressure by getting rid of extra fluid; basically, they increase the amount you urinate.
Calcium-channel blockers- These drugs affect the heart muscle and make it slow down, which lowers blood pressure.
Vasodilators- This medication lets blood vessels become wider, decreasing the pressure from the blood as the heart pumps it in.
Doctors recommend these medications on a case-by-case basis. What works for one person, may not work for another.
4. How does Bystolic work?
One medication that’s being used is Bystolic. If you’d like to know more about it or see the cost click here.
This drug is a beta-blocker. Basically, it keeps your body from producing epinephrine/adrenaline. This chemical is used in your body’s fight or flight response when you are scared, excited, or exercising.
Epinephrine/adrenaline makes your heart beat faster, which lets you deal with whatever is stressing your body. In hypertension though, remember that your blood pressure is high, even though your body doesn’t need it to be.
With less epinephrine, the heart can beat slower and gentler, lowering your blood pressure.
Bystolic also causes the blood vessels to relax like vasodilating medications. This lets blood flow through more easily.
This medication can be taken alone or with other drugs for hypertension depending on the patient. In studies, Bystolic reduced people’s diastolic blood pressure by 11. That’s the difference between stage 2 hypertension and a slightly elevated blood pressure!
Bystolic is taken every day to keep hypertension in check. In can be taken with or without food, but you should never take two doses at once.
This medication cannot be stopped immediately or your blood pressure may increase suddenly. Talk to your doctor before stopping or decreasing the dosage.
There are a few people who should not try this medication:
- Children under 18
- People whose heart beats slowly or skips beats
- People with severe liver problems
- People who have heart failure or need medication to keep their blood flowing
- People who are allergic to nebivolol, the active ingredient
For many people with stage 2 hypertension though, this medication can be a life-saver.
Is Bystolic Right for You?
If you have high blood pressure you should try to keep it down with diet, exercise, and other treatments. If this isn’t working, you can talk to your doctor about Bystolic. A medical professional can help you decide if this medication can help you.