Lower Your Sodium Intake To Better Manage Blood Pressure
Lowering your sodium intake is important because sodium increases blood pressure by causing the body to retain excess fluid. This puts an added burden on your heart and puts more pressure on your blood vessels.
Various organizations including the United States Department of Agriculture recommend that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. But the ideal limit is really no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. Unfortunately, the average sodium intake of Americans is more than 3,400 mg per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . This is partly because sodium is so easy to consume just 1 teaspoon of salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium.
Beware of the American Heart Associations ‘Salty Six‘ six popular foods that can add high levels of sodium to your diet, says Rachel Johnson, PhD, a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont in Burlington and the former chair of the AHAs nutrition committee. The Salty Six include breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, sandwiches, pizza, soup, and chicken.
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.
Follow A Healthy Diet
- Eat 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit every day.
- Limit your fat intake to 20 to 35% of your total energy intake. Consume healthy unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats.
- Reduce your salt intake to fewer than 4 grams per day if you have high blood pressure. This is less than one teaspoon of salt. Salt contains sodium, which is linked to high blood pressure.
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Your Healthcare Provider Can Help You Make An Informed Decision About Treatment
Exercising, losing weight, eating healthy, and quitting smoking can help you control high blood pressure and improve your overall health. Some people find that after making these lifestyle changes, they no longer need medication to control their blood pressure.
However, before you stop taking blood pressure medication, you’ll need to work with your healthcare provider to assess the risks and benefits.
Hypertension Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next healthcare provider’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
How To Lower Blood Pressure Without Medication
Its normal for your BP to fluctuate throughout the day. Excitement, being active, sleeping and waking up are all situations where blood pressure changes naturally. When your activity ends, your BP reading should return to a normal range.
A normal blood pressure is usually defined as systolic pressure below 120 mmHg and diastolic pressure below 80mmHg. Systolic pressure is the measurement of blood pressure from your heart beats. Diastolic pressure is when the heart is at rest between beats. Unfortunately there is no cure for high blood pressure currently, but you can take steps to manage it even without medication. Here are 7 ways to lower your blood pressure naturally:
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How Do You Get The Bottom Blood Pressure Number Down
When it comes to blood pressure readings, the bottom number is called the diastolic blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of your arteries when your heart is in a relaxed state.
To get your diastolic blood pressure to go down, you cant target it alone. You will need to work on getting your overall blood pressure lower.
Here are 13 lifestyle changes that can help you lower your blood pressure.
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How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
The term lifestyle changes implies you will need to change your habits to bring your blood pressure down. Broadly speaking, these modifications are natural non-pharmaceutical ways of lowering blood pressure. Six methods have been proven effective in clinical studies, and two others are recommended:
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Try Meditation Or Deep Breathing
While these two behaviors could also fall under stress reduction techniques, meditation and deep breathing deserve specific mention.
Both meditation and deep breathing may activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is engaged when the body relaxes, slowing the heart rate, and lowering blood pressure.
Theres quite a bit of research in this area, with studies showing that different styles of meditation appear to have benefits for lowering blood pressure .
Deep breathing techniques can also be quite effective.
In one study, participants were asked to either take six deep breaths over the course of 30 seconds or simply sit still for 30 seconds. Those who took breaths lowered their blood pressure more than those who just sat .
Try guided meditation or deep breathing. Heres a video to get you started.
Bottom line: Both meditation and deep breathing can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure.
Monitor Blood Pressure At Home
A person can use a blood pressure monitor to regularly check their blood pressure at home.
According to the , people who have a diagnosis of high blood pressure should check that their blood pressure stays below 130/80 millimeters of mercury . If someone has an elevated systolic or diastolic pressure reading, they should contact their doctor.
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Medicines For High Blood Pressure
Several types of medicine can be used to help control high blood pressure.
Many people need to take a combination of different medicines.
- if you’re under 55 years of age you’ll usually be offered an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin-2 receptor blocker
- if you’re aged 55 or older, or you’re any age and of African or Caribbean origin you’ll usually be offered a calcium channel blocker
You may need to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. But your doctor might be able to reduce or stop your treatment if your blood pressure stays under control for several years.
It’s really important to take your medicine as directed. If you miss doses, it will not work as well.
The medicine will not necessarily make you feel any different, but this does not mean it’s not working.
Medicines used to treat high blood pressure can have side effects, but most people do not get any.
If you do get side effects, do not stop taking your medicine. Talk to your doctor, who may advise changing your medicine.
What You Can Do To Lower High Blood Pressure
As people age, they are more likely to require medications prescribed by their doctors to lower blood pressure. Many different types of antihypertensives are available, and each class of drugs has its effects and side effects. When taking blood pressure prescriptions, remember to discuss possible side effects and drug interactions with your doctor.
Commonly used classes of medications include:
Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors
Diuretics rid the body of excess salt and water but they also deplete the body of potassium and can increase blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Gout is also a possibility. Beta-blockers can produce insomnia, slow heartbeat, cold hands and feet, and depression. Alpha-blockers relax the muscle tone of vascular walls and can produce a fast heart rate, dizziness, and a drop in blood pressure upon standing. ACE inhibitors help relax blood vessels, allowing them to open up, thereby reducing blood pressure. These can produce skin rash, loss of taste, and a dry cough.
Vasodilators can cause the muscle in the blood vessel walls to relax, allowing better blood flow. Side effects can include headaches, swelling around the eyes, heart palpitations, and joint aches.
Lifestyle changes play a key role in getting and keeping blood pressure down. In many cases, implementing such changes will go a long way toward keeping medication doses low. By making the following changes, you can help lower your blood pressure and keep it low.
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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.
- 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.
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:
- 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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Risks And Complications Of High Blood Pressure
All medications have the potential for side effects, so talk to your doctor about what to expect. Since other medical conditions are the leading causes of high blood pressure, your doctor will talk to you about your options for treating any other medical conditions you have.
The greatest risk lies in not addressing your high blood pressure.
Leaving it untreated can cause damage to your blood vessels, heart, and organs. It also puts you at risk for stroke and heart attack. Talk to your doctor about any blood pressure-related concerns you may have.
Other ways to lower your blood pressure over time include:
Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure
Fewer than half of people with high blood pressure have it under control. The problem: When your pressure is too high for too long, it can stretch and damage your arteries.
The resulting health problems can include heart disease, heart failure,stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, memory loss and cognitive decline. Soits important not to brush off high blood pressure. Your first line ofdefense: Try these lifestyle changes as natural ways to lower bloodpressure. Try these lifestyle canges as natrual ways to lower blood pressure.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight By Moving More And Eating Better
One of the most important things that you can do for your blood pressure is to manage your weight. Blood pressure rises as your body weight increases. Even small changes, like losing 10 pounds, can lower your blood pressure. If your goal is to lose weight, youll need to watch what you eat and be physically active.
Begin by eating at home as often as you can and trying new recipes, recommends Johnson. Its also important to read nutrition labels. This will help you understand the amount of calories, sodium, fat, and potassium in your food.
If you decide to work with a personal trainer to help you lose weight, Parker recommends that you ask some questions. For example, ask about the trainers certifications and how long the person has been a trainer. Also ask about the trainer’s prior experience working with people like you in terms of age, gender, body type, and health conditions.
Parker reminds us that life is to be enjoyed. Find ways to make health and wellness fit into your life that’s when lifestyle changes will become a habit versus an intrusion.
Your Hbp Deserves Your Attention
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can be fatal. If youve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, these five simple steps can help you keep it under control:
In many cases this will be your doctors first recommendation, likely in one of these areas:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Strive for a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9.
- Eat healthier. Eat lots of fruit, veggies and low-fat dairy, and less saturated and total fat.
- Reduce sodium. Ideally, stay under 1,500 mg a day, but aim for at least a 1,000 mg per day reduction.
- Get active. Aim for at least 90 to 150 minutes of aerobic and/or dynamic resistance exercise per week and/or three sessions of isometric resistance exercises per week.
- Limit alcohol. Drink no more than 1-2 drinks a day.
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What Can I Do If My Blood Pressure Goes Up Right Before Doctors Visits
Have you ever heard of white coat syndrome? Its what happens when you typically have normal-ranged blood pressure but significantly higher blood pressure in medical settings like hospitals or doctors offices. This is often caused by feeling nervousness or anxiety around medical settings. Unfortunately, this means your health provider might think your blood pressure is higher than it really is.
White coat syndrome isnt uncommon. In fact, one study suggests that 15% to 30% of people who have high blood pressure readings might suffer from white coat syndrome. In cases like these, some patients wonder whether its possible to quickly lower their blood pressure before a reading. If youre in this situation, the safest and most effective thing you can do is try your best to relax.
Here are a few relaxation methods you can try:
If you or your doctor suspect white coat syndrome, your doctor may send you home with a blood pressure monitor that will check your blood pressure periodically throughout a normal day. This gives a more accurate reading of what your blood pressure really is and helps the doctor figure out whether the stress of a physical trip to a medical facility is affecting you.
How To Lower Blood Pressure Quickly And Naturally
When someone has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, it means their blood is pumping with too much force against the artery walls. The condition can eventually lead to heart disease, stroke, or other cardiac conditions. High blood pressure is extremely common in the United States. More than 103 million people in the country have itand many dont even know theirs is too high, because it can be asymptomatic, says John Osborne, MD, director of cardiology at LowT Center/HerKare and a volunteer for the American Heart Association .
The reason many people dont know? There are often few or no symptoms associated with high blood pressure, says Sondra DePalma, a cardiac physician assistant at PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute with UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which is why it is called the silent killer.
If youre wondering how to lower blood pressure, luckily, there are natural ways to do so with the proper diet and healthy lifestyle changes.
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How To Lower Systolic Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the biggest concerns of Americans today. At its simplest, blood pressure is necessary for the human body as it measures the rate and strength at which the heart pumps blood throughout the body. Two numbers make up blood pressure: systolic and diastolic. Both numbers are a measure of your overall health.