Can You Stop Taking High Blood Pressure Medicine?
The deaths due to high blood pressure are on the rise. The lone way to reduce them is by making lifestyle changes. The lifestyle changes include exercises, weight loss, and abstinence from smoking. All these vital steps help in regulating the blood pressure levels. The required modifications alter from one individual to another. The same is valid when it comes to medicines. The dosage level and the length of period vary.
If you are following the new lifestyle, then it is preferable to work closely with the doctor. It will provide your doctor the opportunity to assess the condition and offer you an insight whether the medications are still necessary or not to lead a healthy life.
When Stopping Blood Pressure Medication is Appropriate?
To make an informed decision about stopping the use of the medicines, you and the doctor will participate in a review that will help in understanding about the cause/causes behind the high blood pressure. These include:
- Being overweight
- No physical activity
- Excessive intake of salt
- Excessive intake of alcohol
- Family history
- Kidney diseases
- Sleep apnea
- Thyroid disorders.
Although the list consists of other contributing factors, altering many of them is possible. For instance, adding exercises and weight management is feasible while aging and genetics are uncontrollable. If the reason for the occurrence of high blood pressure is due to modifiable factors, then making changes will be helpful in regulating the blood pressure. If this is the case, then it is possible to stop taking the medicines.
That said there is no particular time required for you to consume the medicines to bring the levels to normal readings before you can stop the use of the drugs. The decision is subjective with no particular answer. As each case is unique, it requires individual assessment.
Regardless of the individual assessment required, if you are following the modification changes to the lifestyle, lost significant weight, and confidently stopped smoking, then it is reasonable to see how things work without medicines. You can give a trial and check the blood pressure levels after a few weeks or a month. You can then verify the same with previously recorded data to check whether stopping the medicines provided any relief. If not, then getting back to the treatment is essential to set things right.
When Stopping is Inappropriate?
If the reason for your blood pressure is non-modifiable factors, then stopping the use of medicines is not advisable. The factors include chronic illnesses or family history. The statement becomes true for elderly, as age alone is not the risk factor anymore. The risk in elderly is high, and managing becomes difficult.
Even if you changed the lifestyle pattern, following a healthy diet, and included exercises, stopping the medicines is not sufficient to bring a change to the treatment. With the new guidelines in practice, even a slight increase above normal will place you in the high blood pressure category. You should take note that identifying hypertension in as many as 90% cases is impossible, as it does not show any symptoms. Given the figures and explanation, it is not appropriate to call a treatment off without consulting the doctor.
What Did it Tell?
Even if you lose weight, quit smoking and alcohol, following a healthy diet, and eating low-fat food, stopping the medicine without the knowledge of doctor is not advisable. As every case in independent, consulting and reviewing the evidence is essential before concluding.
Finding the cause for high blood pressure will help in making the right choice when it comes to stopping the use of the medicines.
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