When your body is in a state of chronic disease or is under stress, it begins to produce catecholamine hormones. This type of hormone, which includes epinephrine and norepinephrine, will make the heart beat faster, using more force. The hormones will also begin to narrow or constrict the blood vessels. All of these things will raise your blood pressure. The hormones are able to do all of this only once they have attached themselves to a receptor. Some of the blood vessels within your body have muscles around them that are called alpha adrenergic receptors. The hormone will attach to these receptors causing the blood vessels to constrict, muscles to contract raising your blood pressure. This type of medication blocks the hormones from attaching to the receptors allowing the heart to work at its normal pace and the blood vessels to remain open so the blood can flow freely allowing the blood pressure to fall. Included in these are:
For mild blood pressure elevation, consensus guidelines call for medically supervised lifestyle changes and observation before recommending initiation of drug therapy. However, according to the American Hypertension Association, evidence of sustained damage to the body may be present even prior to observed elevation of blood pressure. Therefore, the use of hypertensive medications may be started in individuals with apparent normal blood pressures but who show evidence of hypertension-related nephropathy, proteinuria, atherosclerotic vascular disease, as well as other evidence of hypertension-related organ damage.
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