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Iíve heard that once you are diagnosed with hypertension and start medication, you will be on these drugs forever. Is that true?

Unfortunately, for most patients who are diagnosed with hypertension, there is no cure for this problem and management with medication will be necessary for the rest of their lives. About 85 % of the patients that we see who are diagnosed with hypertension, have what we call essential hypertension. This means there is no cause of the blood pressure, that it is simply an illness of its own. Many of these individuals have a history of hypertension in the family and of course, obesity, smoking, a high fat diet and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to this form of hypertension. Other individuals have a cause of their hypertension and we do see this more frequently now as we are more aware of it and as our non-invasive means of diagnosing the problem have improved. Many patients can have marked improvement in their blood pressure management if they have stenting or balloon dilatation of these arteries. Most of the patients, however, will continue to be on some medications. The more unusual causes of hypertension such as various tumors or narrowings in vessels of the aorta and endocrine problems may contribute as well. Nevertheless, the vast majority of people do have no specific cause of their hypertension and must be managed on medications.

There are a few patients, who by losing weight and increasing their exercise capacity, lowering their salt intake and fat intake may be able to come off of these medications. This however represents a very small population of the patients that I see. Hypertension affects 1 in every 3 adult Americans in the US today and is a growing problem.

The best way to prevent hypertension is to keep your weight down and exercise at least 45 minutes a day, five days a week, restricting salt intake and attempting to manage the stressful aspects of your life, will also help in preventing this problem.


Galichia Medical Group, P.A.
2600 N Woodlawn
Wichita, KS 67220

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