Genetics and High Blood Pressure

Is High Blood Pressure Genetic?

Every time your heart beats, it pushes blood through your veins, arteries and capillaries so they can transport the blood to the rest of your body. When you have normal blood pressure levels, your system functions perfectly. However, if you suffer from high blood pressure levels, your body has to work harder to transport blood through your veins. This increases your risk of serious conditions like heart disease, strokes and kidney failure. Leading many people to ask can high blood pressure be genetic. Obesity, lack of exercise and a diet high in fat and salt increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.

However, some people are predisposed to develop high blood pressure even if they take care of themselves.

It might not be fair, but getting treatment for high blood pressure could save your life one day. Here’s what you need to know about treating this condition and improving your quality of life.

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Is High Blood Pressure Genetic?

High blood pressure is a genetic condition that your family members could pass on to you. Your genes don’t automatically give you high blood pressure, but if you smoke, take certain medications or live in high-stress conditions, you’re more likely to develop high blood pressure than someone without genetic predispositions. Other hereditary issues like diabetes could exacerbate your condition.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell if you suffer from high blood pressure. Most people don’t start showing symptoms until they’ve had high blood pressure for months or even years. Your doctor could perform routine tests to check your blood pressure levels.

What Are the Treatments for High Blood Pressure?

Your doctor could prescribe lifestyle changes that help you lower your blood pressure levels. This might include exercising more, eating a healthier diet, quitting smoking, reducing stress, eating less salt and limiting your alcohol consumption. This could reduce your blood pressure without the need for medical intervention. Major lifestyle changes may improve other aspects of your life, improving your mental and physical health.

However, if lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your doctor might prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure levels. Common types of blood pressure medication include beta-blockers, diuretics, ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers. You have dozens of options to choose from, each with its own set of benefits and side effects. Here’s a rundown of the basic functions:

  • Diuretics: Remove excess salt from your body
  • Calcium channel blockers: Keep calcium out of your heart and arteries
  • Beta-blockers: Reduce your heart rate
  • ACE inhibitors: Help your arteries relax and widen

Your doctor could prescribe one medication or a combination of medications to increase the efficacy. Some medications come in multiple brand names. If one medication doesn’t work, your doctor could prescribe another. Genetic testing might be necessary if several medications fail.

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How to Get Off High Blood Pressure Medication

Fortunately, you might not have to stay on blood pressure medication forever. You might be able to stop taking medication if you make significant lifestyle changes that lower your blood pressure. This includes dieting, exercising regularly, eating healthy foods and managing stress in your life. Over time, your doctor might reduce your prescription or end the regimen altogether.

However, it’s important to consult your doctor before changing or stopping your prescription. Never stop taking medication without talking to your doctor even if you don’t think you need it. Otherwise, you could suffer from severe side effects and health issues.

While some people find the right medication right away, others have trouble finding a medication that lowers their blood pressure with minimal side effects. You might have to try different medications for months before you finally start seeing results. Pharmacogenetic Testing will speed up the process by analyzing your DNA and finding which medication is best for you.

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What is Genetic Testing?

Your genes don’t just make you more susceptible to high blood pressure–they also determine how your body reacts to different medications. If you take a medication that’s not compatible with your genes, you won’t see much improvement. The wrong drug could also cause serious side effects that are worse than the condition you’re trying to treat.

Genetic testing gives you and your doctor a full report that outlines how your genes interact with different medications. With a simple ClarityX DNA test, you could cut the experimentation time in half and reduce the possibility of side effects.

How Does ClarityX Work?

When your doctor approves a ClarityX test, we’ll send a testing kit to your home address. You’ll collect a saliva sample and mail the kit back to our facility. We’ll use the DNA sample to prepare your report, then give you and your doctor a copy.

Our Heart Health test offers a comprehensive report on various heart medications and how they interact with your genes. When you view the report, you’ll see three columns for each type of medication. In the green column, you’ll see medications that have the best chance of success. The yellow column lists medications that you should use with caution, while the red column lists the medications that might have severe side effects.

Your doctor will likely prescribe the medications in the green column first. These options are most compatible with your genes and have the lowest risk of side effects. If those medications fail, your doctor might try medications from the next column. They might have to adjust the dosage to make them effective. With this information, you can get right to the options that are most likely to lower your blood pressure.

If this sounds like the next step for you, talk to your doctor about ordering a ClarityX test. You can also get in touch with us to learn more about our service. In addition to the Heart Health test, we offer a Mental Wellness test and a Comprehensive test that covers over 450 medications in 16 different medical areas.

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