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How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure

What Is The Pritikin Program For Lowering Blood Pressure

Lowering Blood Pressure in 5 Minutes

The Pritikin Program, taught by the dietitians, exercise physiologists, physicians, and psychologists at the Pritikin Longevity Center, addresses all the adverse effects associated with hypertension by:

  • Providing at least 5 servings of vegetables and 4 servings of fruits daily, which help ensure that you eat plenty of foods that are full of stomach-filling volume yet are low in calories, enhancing weight-loss efforts. Losing excess weight is one of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure in the short term. Eating plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables also means youll be eating excellent sources of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Many studies have found that foods rich in these minerals help blunt some of the toxic effects of sodium.
  • Cutting back on calorie-dense foods loaded with fat, sugar, and/or refined grains to promote weight-loss efforts.
  • Limiting the consumption of sodium to a healthy level less than 1,500 mg daily for people under 50 years, less than 1,300 mg daily for those 50 to 69 years, and no more than 1,200 mg daily for people 70 years and older.
  • Discouraging excess alcohol drinking .
  • Adding a daily exercise regime that aids in weight loss and stimulates nitric oxide production, a beneficial chemical that relaxes muscles in the artery walls and lowers blood pressure.
  • Getting an adequate intake of calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D by consuming moderate amounts of nonfat dairy foods or soymilk, seafood, and a little sunshine.

What Is Considered High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure changes naturally throughout the day. This depends on many factors, including whether you are sitting, standing, exercising or sleeping, and upon how much fluid is in your body.

High blood pressure is when a persons blood pressure is persistently higher than it should be: usually 140/90mmHg or higher. Your doctor will need to take several measurements at different times before they can diagnose high blood pressure.

The decision to treat high blood pressure doesnt just depend on your measurements it also depends on your other risk factors for heart disease and blood vessel disease.

The Australian guidelines for classifying blood pressure ranges are:

Systolic
90 and over

What Can I Eat To Lower My Blood Pressure

Theres actually a specific diet designed for heart health called the DASH Diet. It stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension and was developed by the National Institutes of Health. Following the DASH Diet can lower blood pressure just as effectively as taking a pill, Dr. Osborne says. It highlights foods that are high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, while limiting salt and sodium intake. Heres some of what youll eat on the diet.

  • Fruit
  • Kefir
  • Dark chocolate in moderation

Some of the biggest things to eliminate are excess sodium , processed foods, sugar, condiments , bread, and cheese.

Apple cider vinegar has long been touted as a remedy for high blood pressure, but Dr. Osborne notes that no comprehensive clinical trial has been able to determine how effective it actually is. That being said, hes not against patients trying itif you find that taking apple cider vinegar every day keeps your blood pressure low, then keep doing it. Same for alcohol and caffeinated drinks, as long as youre having them in moderation.

People that drink modestly, so one to two drinks, may actually see a modest effect on cardiovascular events and may see modestly lower blood pressure, Dr. Osborne explains. However, if you drink anything more than that, it clearly elevates blood pressure.

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High Blood Pressure Treatment

The best way to lower blood pressure begins with changes you can make to your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower your blood pressure. These are called antihypertensive medicines.

The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels. Your doctor may prescribe medicine thats easy to take and has few, if any, side effects. This treatment is highly successful. If your blood pressure can only be controlled with medicine, youll need to take the medicine for the rest of your life. It is common to need more than one medicine to help control your blood pressure. Dont stop taking the medicine without talking with your doctor. Otherwise, you may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

Avoid Heavy Alcohol Drinking

How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure?

Drinking too much alcohol has been associated with high blood pressure. Heavy drinking also contributes to stroke. The CDC recommends that men drink two or fewer drinks per day. Women are recommended to drink one or fewer alcoholic beverages per day.

Alcoholism is a disease that is difficult to treat on your own. If you find it difficult to control your drinking, many people have successfully limited or quit drinking through counseling and drug treatment. You can reach the national substance abuse hotline anytime at: 1-800-662-HELP .

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Contains Beneficial Plant Compounds

Celery juice contains luteolin and pyrroloquinoline quinone , two plant compounds thought to reduce inflammation in your gut.

Luteolin is also found in many fruits and vegetables like broccoli, peppers, and spinach. Other PQQ-rich foods include green tea, papaya, and tofu .

One 12-week study in mice fed a high fat diet found that mice that received probiotic-fermented celery juice had a healthier variety of gut bacteria. However, fermented celery juice differs from freshly made juice, as its infused with gut-healthy bacteria .

Fermented or fresh, theres not enough evidence on luteolin, PQQ, or other compounds found in celery juice to determine how they may affect the gut. Ultimately, research including humans is needed before making definitive conclusions.

Eat More Potassium And Less Sodium

Increasing your potassium intake and cutting back on salt can also lower your blood pressure .

Potassium is a double winner: It lessens the effects of salt in your system and eases tension in your blood vessels. However, diets rich in potassium may be harmful to people with kidney disease, so talk with your doctor before increasing your potassium intake.

Its easy to eat more potassium. So many foods are naturally high in potassium. Here are a few:

  • chips
  • other processed snacks

Foods labeled low fat are usually high in salt and sugar to compensate for the loss of fat. Fat is what gives food taste and makes you feel full.

Cutting down on or even better, cutting out processed food will help you eat less salt, less sugar, and fewer refined carbohydrates. All of this can result in lower blood pressure.

Make it a practice to check nutrition labels. According to the Food and Drug Administration , a sodium listing of 5 percent or less on a food label is considered low, while 20 percent or more is considered high (

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Lower Your Levels Without Medication

While many people use medications to lower their blood pressure, lifestyle changes are usually recommended, too. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining your weight, and getting regular exercise are good ways to prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, but they can help treat these problems, too. While lifestyle changes alone can’t cure high blood pressure, they can improve how well your medications work and help you avoid additional complications.

Ways To Lower Your Blood Pressure

Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

1. Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight is a major risk factor for high blood pressure. You will need to maintain a body mass index between 18.5-24.9 kg/m2.

2. Reduce central obesity

Having excess fat around the waistline puts you at risk of hypertension and related heart disease. You can reduce the fat around your middle through various exercises, including jogging, walking, hiking, rowing, swimming and high-intensity interval training .

3. Stay physically active

The American Heart Association recommends doing 90-150 minutes of physical activity spread throughout the week or at least 30 minutes each day for at least 5 days a week.

4. Quit smoking

Smoking causes the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels that leads to high blood pressure. Try to quit smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Ask your doctor if you need help figuring out the best way to do this. Joining a program designed to help you quit smoking may help.

5. Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep increases your chances of developing health conditions that cause high blood pressure. Try to get between 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night.

6. Manage stress

Stress releases hormones that temporarily raise blood pressure. Learn to manage stress by doing activities that relax you and make you feel good. These may include simple things like taking a long walk in nature, listening to music, or pursuing hobbies you enjoy. You can also try deep breathing and meditation techniques.

7. Eat heart-healthy foods

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What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure

Perhaps youre not sure if you have high blood pressure. If it has been a while since youve had your blood pressure taken, consider scheduling a wellness visit with your medical provider. In the meantime, here are some of the key signs of high blood pressure to watch out for:

  • Headaches
  • Bloody urine

What Is High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is the silent killer that affects 80 million Americans. As many as 16 million Americans are unaware of the condition. Untreated hypertension can increase the risk of heart diseases or strokes. High blood pressure occurs due to the tightening of very small blood vessels called arterioles. As a result, the heart has to pump harder to overcome the resistance in the narrowed blood vessel bed. This leads to elevated pressure inside the vessels.

  • High blood pressure or hypertension is when readings consistently range from 140 or higher for systolic or 90 or higher for diastolic.
  • Blood pressure readings above 180/120 mmHg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention.

High blood pressure is more likely to cause

  • heart attack

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How To Monitor Your Blood Pressure

You can monitor your own blood pressure at home using a home blood pressure monitor. The American Heart Association recommends using an automatic, cuff-style bicep monitor. Make sure you buy a monitor that has been validated and with a cuff that fits properly around your upper arm. Then follow these simple steps:

  • Dont exercise, eat, drink caffeinated beverages, or smoke within 30 minutes of measuring your blood pressure.
  • Sit still with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. Follow your monitors instructions or ask your doctor how to use it correctly.
  • Make sure you check your blood pressure at the same time each day.
  • Check your blood pressure two or three times each time you sit down to measure it. Wait one minute in between each reading. Be sure to track your measurements, either writing them down in a journal or using an online tracker.

You may be wondering how to lower blood pressure. Below are my top natural ways to lower blood pressure, and by the way, it should happen fast! Some plans can take months to see results. With my tips, some of which revolve around anti-inflammatory foods, you can see results in just one day.

How To Read Your Blood Pressure

How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure While Sleeping

Blood pressure readings have two numbers: a systolic pressure and a diastolic pressure, given in units of milligrams of mercury .

The higher number is the systolic blood pressure, which is the pressure generated by the heart pumping blood through the arteries. The lower number is the diastolic blood pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries while the heart is relaxing.

A normal blood pressure is less than 120 systolic over less than 80 diastolic. A systolic blood pressure in the 120s is considered elevated, even with a normal diastolic reading.

Hypertension is diagnosed with systolic reading 130 or higher, or a diastolic reading 80 or higher.

Blood Pressure Categories
> /=130 > /=90

Both systolic and diastolic measurements are important when considering your heart’s health. A high systolic reading is the most common form of high blood pressure, especially in older people, due to arteries stiffening over time.

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Why Is It Dangerous To Lower My Blood Pressure Too Quickly

Before we talk about specific examples, lets learn why its dangerous to lower your blood pressure too quickly. Your heart and blood vessels carry blood to all your body parts, including large, important organs that keep you alive, like your lungs and especially your brain. Large drops in blood pressure can suddenly stop your brain from getting the continuous blood flow and oxygen it needs. This can lead to a stroke and permanent brain damage.

Drugs Vs Lifestyle Change

First, keep in mind that drugs have limited success. Most studies on diuretics and other blood pressure-lowering drugs suggest they lower the risk of cardiovascular events among those with blood pressure between 140/90 and 159/99 by 15 to 20%.3 The problem is, with this range of blood pressure, the risk of cardiovascular-related deaths has increased by 300 to 400% compared to people with normal blood pressure.

So, while treating hypertension with drugs is generally better than no treatment, it is far from a cure, asserts Dr. Fruge.

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How To Lower Blood Pressure In Minutes

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

High blood pressure can hit at any time, and the results can be devastating. When an acute jump occurs, knowing how to lower blood pressure in minutes can be the difference between life and death.

This is especially true if youre one of the 75 million American adults suffering from hypertension , or one of the other 75 million with prehypertension. When a boost hits, its good to know how to make blood pressure go down quickly.

Your blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day, and this is completely normal. Stress, anxiety, exercise, and activity can all lead to increases, while relaxation, getting ready for bed, and sleep can all bring it back down.

But not all high blood pressure is safe, and the longer it stays at a high rate, the more health risks you assume. Risks include acute responses like sweating, fainting or shortness of breath, and more severe issues like heart disease and heart attack can arise. So when stress hits, knowing how to lower blood pressure quickly can be a great health benefit.

High Blood Pressure In Older People

How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure

The target blood pressure reading for the over-80s is below 150/90 mmHg when it’s measured in the clinic or surgery, and below 145/85 mmHg for home readings.

While there are definite benefits from taking medicines to reduce blood pressure if you’re under the age of 80, it’s less clear it’s useful if you’re over 80.

It’s now thought that if you reach 80 while you’re taking medicine for high blood pressure, it’s fine to continue treatment provided it’s still helping you and is not causing side effects.

If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure and you’re aged over 80, your doctor will also consider your other health risk factors when deciding whether to give you treatment for the high blood pressure.

Page last reviewed: 23 October 2019 Next review due: 23 October 2022

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The Danger Of Inactivity

According to the American Heart Association journal Circulation, as many as 250,000 deaths per year in the United States can be attributed to a lack of regular exercise. Living a sedentary, or inactive, lifestyle has consistently been one of the top five risk factors for heart disease. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity. Those with low levels of physical fitness also experience a higher rate of cardiovascular events, like heart attack and death.

According to research from the University of South Carolina, men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11 hours. Inactivity also affects other risk factors for heart disease. For example, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, sedentary people have a 35 percent greater risk of developing high blood pressure than physically active people do.

Essential Oils For Blood Pressure

Another of the many natural ways to lower blood pressure is to incorporate some key essential oils into your daily lifestyle. Essential oils can lower blood pressure by dilating arteries, acting as antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress and by decreasing emotional stress. The most effective essential oils for lowering blood pressure are lavender, ylang ylang, clary sage and frankincense.

Precautions

Talk with your natural doctor about how to lower blood pressure naturally and safely. Check with your doctor before making major diet and exercise changes. If youre taking any medications, youll also want to make sure there are no drug interactions with any natural supplements you plan to take.

Final Thoughts

  • Blood pressure is a combination of systolic and diastolic pressure.
  • High blood pressure happens when the pressure on the arteries and blood vessels becomes too high and the arterial wall becomes distorted causing extra stress on the heart.
  • You can monitor your own blood pressure by measuring your pulse rate.
  • Try natural ways to lower blood pressure like dietary changes, stress relievers and exercise.
  • Check with your doctor before making any major diet or exercise changes or trying new supplements.

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