University of Southern California Master of Public Health Online
When prescribed with a potentially life-saving medication to help manage your high blood pressure, you need to follow your doctor’s advice. In addition to reading all of the label warnings on your prescription and taking it easy for the first few days to see how your body reacts, there are certain changes you may end up needing to take for optimal results. Taking your high blood pressure medication daily and at the same, regularly scheduled intervals will aid you in avoiding blood pressure spikes, which is one of the most serious complications associated with this type of medication. Take these next four important precautions as you take your high blood pressure management medication and you can continue to maintain a healthy medical status.
1. Avoid Staying in Direct Sunlight for Too Long
Medications used to treat high blood pressure patients can make you very sensitive to heat as well as direct contact with the sun. In addition to increasing the risk of overheating, you are likely to sweat profusely and become disoriented after spending a short period in the sun’s peak heat. Carrying an umbrella or parasol, or even sitting under an awning or tent can help you to enjoy outdoor activities without worry of high blood pressure drug interactions.
2. Watch Your Sodium Intake
As a person living with high blood pressure, your doctor has probably already told you to lay off of the salt. Preparing your own foods will allow you to eliminate unnecessary sodium content from your diet, while still enabling you to eat tasty and satisfying meals. Learn how to season your food with more herbs and spices rather than salt, and your taste buds will slowly begin to adjust. Remember that a low-salt diet doesn’t have to be low on flavor.
3. Stay Hydrated
While taking medication to treat your high blood pressure condition, you will want to drink much more water. Not only is water an important essential for maintaining stable blood pressure, but it will also make it easier for your body to metabolize your blood pressure management medication. Avoid drinking iced tea and alcohol, as this can cause issues with dehydration. Find a water bottle that only needs to be filled once or twice per day to get the recommended amount you need each day to help you stay well hydrated.
4. Potential Potassium Depletion
By nature, high blood pressure medication can lead to depleted potassium levels. You can supplement your potassium with foods rich in this element, or take a doctor approved potassium supplement. Foods like bananas are rich in potassium and other nutrients that your body will benefit from.
Having to take medication to treat high blood pressure can certainly be a big change in your life, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be any less enjoyable. Watch your salt intake and supplement your potassium intake, while being aware of the effects of prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Lastly, keep a cold bottle of water available so that you can keep your blood flowing properly.