Why Does Hypertension Matter
If you are in this 130/80 range, reducing your blood pressure can help protect you from heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, and even cognitive decline. The goal of the new guidelines is to encourage you to treat your high blood pressure seriously and to take action to bring it down, primarily using lifestyle interventions. “It is well documented that lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure as much as pills can, and sometimes even more,” says Dr. Fisher.
Making those changes can be challenging. More than one woman has woken up in the morning committed to healthy eating only to be derailed by a plate of cookies on a table in the office or a dinner out with friends.
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.
Seek Help For Snoring
Loud, incessant snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea , a disorder that causes brief but dangerous breathing interruptions. Up to half of sleep apnea patients also live with hypertension, possibly due to high levels of aldosterone, a hormone that can boost blood pressure. Fixing sleep apnea could be helpful for improving BP, says Robert Greenfield, M.D., medical director of Non-Invasive Cardiology & Cardiac Rehabilitation at MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute.
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Causes And Risk Factors
You may be at an increased risk for high blood pressure if you smoke, areoverweight, eat a diet thats low on produce and fiber and/or high in fatand salt, drink alcohol to excess, live with chronic stress or dont getmuch physical activity. Some causes of hypertension cannot becontrolledincluding your genes and your race . Aging also plays a role. Even if you do not have hypertensionby age 55 to 65, your lifetime risk for developing it is a whopping 90percent.
In one Johns Hopkins study of 975 older women and men with hypertension,healthy lifestyle steps helped 40 percent stop taking blood pressuremedications. Other research has shown that lifestyle changes can lower therisk for hypertension in African-Americans and others at an increasedgenetic risk.
How To Lower Blood Pressure Quickly
First and most importantly, if you think youre having a complication of high blood pressure such as a stroke, a heart attack, or something else, seek immediate medical attention. Dont try to solve problems like these on your ownyou need comprehensive care.
Otherwise, when you feel your blood pressure may be too high and you want to lower it quickly, Dr. Osborne suggests calming down. Stop what youre doing and sit. Take some deep breaths. If you find that doesnt help, then call your doctor. If its a continual problem, try exercising and altering your diet it can take a few weeks or up to a month to see the effects of that in your blood pressure, so keep plugging away for the best results.
Keep in mind that in some cases, blood pressure medication may be necessary if you cant lower high blood pressure through diet and lifestyle changes. Those drugs will be the quickest path to lower blood pressure levelsoften taking only minutes to even your blood pressure out. Finding the right medication might be the only way to control high blood pressure in some cases, like resistant hypertension. A rule of thumb is to start blood pressure medications and make lifestyle changes. As blood pressure improves with lifestyle modifications, medications can be weaned off.
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Effective Strategies And Tricks To Lower Blood Pressure
Its estimated that over 103 million Americans have high blood pressure. Excessive pressure on your arteries can lead to stroke, a heart attack, and other heart-related problems. If youve been diagnosed with high blood pressure you will want to bring your numbers down.
Your lifestyle may be contributing to your high numbers. Living a healthy lifestyle can help lower your blood pressure without taking medication. Here are 9 effective strategies and tricks to lower blood pressure.
Lower Your Stress Level
Your stress level may contribute to your high blood pressure. People who are under chronic stress may try to relieve their stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking, smoking. These activities will only increase your blood pressure.
Think about the reasons why you are stressed. Once you know what is causing your stress you can work to reduce or eliminate the source. If you cant eliminate your stress, you can find a healthy way to cope.
Avoid trying to do too much. Sometimes you will have to change your priorities and expectations. There are some things in life you cant control. Instead, focus on how you react to them.
If you are having issues at work, try talking to your manager. Take steps to resolve conflicts with family or friends. Find a time during the day to relax. Take a walk or work on a hobby you love.
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Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally And Permanently
The effects of slow breathing are powerful but they wear off, unless you have been practicing it regularly for a while. Even then, if your blood pressure is seriously high, you are likely to need to support this with other measures in order to get your blood pressure down to a healthy range.
If you have high blood pressure and want to lower it without medications , heres the skinny: you have to move to a healthier diet and complement it with exercises.
Simply reducing salt consumption and eating a clove of garlic a day wont cut it.
Yes, I know, superfoods are all the rage in the media, but no food is that super alone.
Can cayenne reduce blood pressure?
For example, I was asked the other day, Does cayenne pepper reduce blood pressure? Yes, cayenne has been shown to be beneficial to your heart and circulatory system. And yes, cayenne can help reduce your blood pressure. But no, simply taking a dose of cayenne everyday probably isnt going to be the answer to your blood pressure problems.
The same could be said for other beneficial foods such as garlic, celery, oatmeal, bananas, apples, tomatoes, onions, dark chocolate, you-name-it. All these foods can assist in reducing your blood pressure and getting your body back in balance. But they cant do it by themselves.
Superfoods are not enough
But dont despair. Reducing your blood pressure naturally isnt rocket science. Anyone can do it.
In a nutshell, you can lower your blood pressure naturally by:
Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In Your Blood Pressure Numbers
If you suddenly find yourself with high blood pressure under the new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, you might be wondering what to do. The guidelines lowered the definition for high blood pressure to 130/80 from 140/90 millimeters of mercury , meaning more people now meet the criteria for stage 1 hypertension.
While you shouldn’t shrug off the change, there’s also no need to panic. “Obviously, nothing happened overnight inside a woman’s body or to her health with the release of the guidelines,” says Dr. Naomi Fisher, director of hypertension service and hypertension innovation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The change, however, should spur you to take your blood pressure seriously. “These guidelines have been long anticipated and are very welcome by most hypertension experts. They may seem drastic, but in putting the knowledge we’ve gained from large trials into clinical practice, they will help thousands of people,” says Dr. Fisher.
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Take Help From Family And Friends
It is advised to seek help from family, friends, and neighbors in case of uneasiness.
Visiting a crowded function increases the risk of hypertension by almost 52%.
Wondering how to quickly lower blood pressure in minutes?
One way is to be careful about your surroundings. If visiting someplace which might trigger anxiety, go with a family member.
That way, even if you feel mild discomfort, youll have someone by your side. It is good to have a known face around the time of crisis.
Remember hypertension is a product of irregular lifestyle and stress. If you have a close friend around, you might feel less anxious already.
Breathing Techniques To Lower Blood Pressure
Looking for specialized breathing techniques to lower blood pressure? The term blood pressure refers to the pressure blood exerts on the vein walls. When someone is diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension, this means the force of the blood on the veins is too high, specifically above 130/80 mmHg.
Several factors that contribute to high blood pressure include: smoking, salty diet, obesity, stress, excessive alcohol consumption and family history. Failure to manage ones blood pressure can result in heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and many other conditions.
In addition to taking medication prescribed by your doctor, there are many ways to alter ones lifestyle to manage this condition. Exercising, limiting salt intake, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco smoke can help lower blood pressure.
For those who cant control their high blood pressure with these methods alone, slow, deep breathing techniques may help according to several studies. These techniques work on a cellular level to reduce blood pressure and promote heart health.
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Keep Track Of Your Blood Pressure
Monitoring your blood pressure at home can tell you if certain lifestyle changes are working to lower your blood pressure. It can also alert you and your doctor to potential complications you are facing.
A blood pressure monitor can be purchased at the pharmacy without a prescription. If you are living with high blood pressure talk to your doctor about home monitoring and she can help you get started.
Your doctor can help you control your high blood pressure. Regular doctor visits are an important component of keeping your blood pressure in line naturally. Ask your doctor how many times she would like you to check your blood pressure at home and how often.
If your doctor decides to make changes to your daily medications, she may recommend starting to check your blood pressure two weeks after the change.
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Naturally Over Time
Now that weve discussed why theres no fail-proof, safe, and fast way to lower blood pressure, remember, there are still many ways to lower your blood pressure over time. Here are some simple recommendations:
Exercise most days of the week. Exercise is the most effective way to lower your blood pressure. Being physically active at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week goes a long way toward keeping or getting your blood pressure under control.
Consume a low-sodium diet. Too much sodium causes blood pressure to rise. The AHA recommends keeping your daily sodium intake to less than 2 grams, but keeping it less than 1.5 grams is even better! The DASH diet provides a low-sodium eating plan for you to use as an example.
Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 to 2 drinks per day. Drinking more than average1 drink for women and 2 drinks for mencan cause your blood pressure to rise. Plus, alcohol can cause you to pack on the pounds, which can also lead to an increase in blood pressure.
Make stress reduction a priority. Stressful situations can cause your blood pressure to go up temporarily. But if you continue to be stressed, your blood pressure can remain high. Find calming activities you can do every day to help you relieve stress. Coloring, walking outside, listening to relaxing music, and even taking a warm bath can help you keep you lower your stress levels.
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Take Blood Pressure Medications As Prescribed
The American Heart Association state that people should take their blood pressure medications according to their doctors exact instructions. People should never quit or cut back on their medications unless their doctor has advised them to do so.
If a person has trouble remembering to take their blood pressure medications, they should set up daily reminders on their phone or other devices.
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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.
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I used to think these dramatic drops in blood pressure were something that happened to only a very few people, continues Dr. Fruge, but Ive been here at Pritikin for more than 15 years, and I see results like these every week. This isnt a miracle. Its simply what happens when we start taking good care of ourselves.
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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Seven Tips For Lowering Blood Pressure
High blood pressure takes a high toll, affecting nearly every organ in the body. Across America almost half of adults have high blood pressure, and that number is more than half for Black adults.
High blood pressure is also known as The Silent Killer, because often there are no symptoms. The only way to know your blood pressure high, normal or low is to get it checked.
And if your blood pressure is high, following a few basic guidelines can help you get it under control, possibly even without medication.
Eat Some Dark Chocolate
Yes, chocolate lovers: Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure.
But the dark chocolate should be 60 to 70 percent cacao. A review of studies on dark chocolate has found that eating one to two squares of dark chocolate per day may help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and inflammation.
The benefits are thought to come from the flavonoids present in chocolate with more cocoa solids. The flavonoids help dilate, or widen, your blood vessels .
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Benefits Of Aerobic Exercise
One of the best types of exercise for your heart regardless of your sex, age, or weight is aerobic exercise. Aerobic activity affects your heart, lungs, and blood flow in the following ways:
- You breathe faster and more deeply, maximizing the amount of oxygen in your blood.
- Your heart beats faster, increasing blood flow to your muscles and back to your lungs.
- Your capillaries widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles.
How does this help your heart? For one thing, it strengthens your heart and causes adaptations in your muscles. When your heart is stronger and your muscles are more fit, your heart doesnt need to beat as fast at rest. It also pumps blood more efficiently, improving blood flow throughout your entire body.
Aerobic exercise can also help you lose and maintain weight, as well as reduce your blood pressure. It can help keep your arteries clear by reducing levels of bad cholesterol , or low-density lipoprotein, in your blood. It also helps elevate levels of good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein. This can lead to less plaque buildup in your arteries.
In total, the effect of regular moderate exercise on your overall cardiovascular risk can be dramatic.
AHA encourages men to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. You can break this activity into five 30-minute sessions. Or you can exercise more frequently in shorter sessions of 10 to 15 minutes.