Do I need to keep taking my Hypertension meds

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Q:

I have been taking Avalide for the past two years since I was diagnosed with hypertension.
I believe it was brought on by my new high stress job. At 50, although overweight, I always ate healthy and was active, and my readings were high normal until my new job, when they got high, and I began to have the other physical symptoms as well. The medication reduced my blood pressure back to high normal.

In the last two months I have changed to an almost vegetarian diet-no red meat, dairy, eggs, or fats, only lean chicken and fish. Lots of fibre. I have also lost weight, although still technically overweight, have increased my exercise, and reduced my alcohol (never overconsumed to begin with). My job has also become much less stressfull. In fact the area where I now work is almost relaxing. My readings lately have been normal, and I feel like a kid again!
I would like to stop taking the medication, but my doctors opinion is ‘why stop if its working’? I think my lifestyle changes have had a bigger impact. Is it OK to go off the medication for a trial period to see what happens? Can hypertension be resolved by lifestyle changes or is it a permanent condition? Thanks!

A:

First of all, congratulations! You have made the most important changes in your lifestyle possible. However, I agree with your doctor to make other changes slowly. If you continue with your present regimen, I expect you will be able to wean of Avalide eventually. Two months of change don’t yet add up to the previous 50 years.
You can read more here about the high blood pressure and calculate your present risk for heart disease and stroke:
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/heart-information/hypertension
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/app/risk-assessment.php
Diet:
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/patients/diet/heart-healthy-food
Read more about food on my heart healthy recipe section:
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/ca-blog/category/recipes/
Hope this helps,
Dr T
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/

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