How Can I Prevent High Blood Pressure
You can help prevent high blood pressure by having a healthy lifestyle. This means:
If you already have high blood pressure, it is important to prevent it from getting worse or causing complications. You should get regular medical care and follow your prescribed treatment plan. Your plan will include healthy lifestyle habit recommendations and possibly medicines.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Eat Garlic Or Take Garlic Extract Supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure.
A meta-analysis found that for people with high blood pressure, garlic supplements reduced their systolic blood pressure by up to about 5 mm Hg and reduced their diastolic blood pressure as much as 2.5 mm Hg .
According to a 2009 clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets .
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.
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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.
Quit Smoking And Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Not smoking has been shown to reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. The benefits of quitting smoking start immediately.
Drinking more than 1 standard drink per day for women, and 2 for men, increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. You can read more about how alcohol affects your health here.
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Nix Your Nicotine Addiction
Each cigarette you smoke temporarily raises blood pressure for several minutes after you finish. If youre a heavy smoker, your blood pressure can stay elevated for extended periods of time.
Even secondhand smoke can put you at increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
Drinking a glass of red wine with your dinner is perfectly fine. It might even offer heart-health benefits when done in moderation.
But drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to lots of health issues, including high blood pressure.
Excessive drinking can also reduce the effectiveness of certain blood pressure medications.
What does drinking in moderation mean? The AHA recommends that men limit their consumption to two alcoholic drinks per day. Women should limit their intake to one alcoholic drink per day.
One drink equals:
First Why Is Your Blood Pressure High
Its natural to experience short-term spikes in blood pressure, like during exercise or after a cup of coffee. But over time, if your heart consistently pumps out more blood than usual or your blood vessels become stiffer, your blood pressure can stay high, which may lead to hypertension. Many things can cause this to happen, including eating too much salt, being overweight, or even taking certain medications that can cause high blood pressure as a side effect.
You might know that a blood pressure reading has two numbers . The American Heart Association describes normal blood pressure as a first number of 120 or less and a second number of 80 or less.
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Put Down The Saltshaker
Keeping your sodium intake to a minimum can be vital for lowering blood pressure.
In some people, when you eat too much sodium, your body starts to retain fluid. This results in a sharp rise in blood pressure.
The AHA recommends limiting your sodium intake to between 1,500 milligrams and 2,300 mg per day. Thats a little over half a teaspoon of table salt.
To decrease sodium in your diet, dont add salt to your food. One teaspoon of table salt has 2,300 mg of sodium!
Use herbs and spices to add flavor instead. Processed foods also tend to be loaded with sodium. Always read food labels and choose low-sodium alternatives when possible.
Garlic Supplements For High Blood Pressure
You can use garlic as a natural medicine to treat hypertension and improve your cardiovascular health.
Regularly taking garlic as a supplement can help to turn prehypertensive conditions into safe conditions. For example, a meta-analysis of 20 trials found that garlic supplementation can lower systolic blood pressure by 9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 7 mmHg.
Other studies have found that taking garlic supplements on a long-term basis could have a significant effect on blood pressure. Over a 12-week period taking 2 aged garlic capsules daily helped lower systolic blood pressure by around 12 mmHg.
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Reduce And Avoid Chronic Stress
Some stress in life is unavoidable. But if you feel stressed out and tense for much or all of the day, your habits might be affected. People with chronic stress are in danger of unhealthy coping habits like overeating and substance abuse. It can also be difficult to sleep if you are frequently or constantly stressed. All of these things can raise your blood pressure.
To keep your stress in check, make time for healthy activities. Spend some time every day in an activity that relaxes you, such as:
High Blood Pressure In Older People
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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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Blood pressure is measured with a pressure cuff . The cuff is placed around the upper arm and then manually or electronically inflated. When it is inflated the cuff compresses the brachial artery, the major blood vessel of the upper arm, briefly stopping blood flow. The air in the cuff is then released slowly while the person performing the measurement listens with a stethoscope or monitors an electronic readout.
Blood pressure is expressed in two numbers:
- Systolic blood pressure : measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats
- Diastolic blood pressure : measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is at rest between beats
These measurements can tell if your blood pressure is normal, high, or low.
- High blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or more
- Elevated blood pressure levels between 120/80 and 139/89 are considered prehypertension and mean a person is at higher risk for developing high blood pressure
- Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg
Adults 20 years of age and older should have their blood pressure checked during regular doctor visits.
Nitric Oxide Protects The Lining Of The Blood Wall Vessel
Nitric oxide plays great role in the preservation of the lining of the blood vessels. It protects the wall of the blood vessels, also called the endothelium. So, it essentially acts as a shield against breakdown of the mucus membrane. When there is no breakdown of the membrane, its natural functions will be preserved and therell be no disease.
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B Lower Blood Pressure Naturally With The Dash Diet:
The DASH diet is a way of approaching food and meals for those at risk of high blood pressure. The term DASH means Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and focuses on controlled portions, healthy choices, and lower sodium.
Its estimated that following a DASH diet can result in lowering your blood pressure by an estimated 14 points overall. DASH elements include:
- Sodium: Between 1500mg to 2300 mg per day
- Vegetables: Between 4 to 5 servings a day
- Fruits: Between 4 to 5 servings a day
- Poultry, lean meats and fish: Less than 6 servings a day
- Grains: Between 6 and 8 servings a day
- Dairy: Between 2 to 3 servings, low-fat choices
- Seeds or Nuts: Between 4 to 5 servings a week
- Fats and oils: Limit yourself to 2 to 3 servings each day
- Sweets or Desserts: Limit 5 or less a week
When following a DASH diet, make sure to limit your intake of the following:
> Sodium: Of course, salt is a big player in high blood pressure. Its important to limit your sodium intake every day to between 1500mg to 2300mg per day, as noted above.
- Choose salt substitutes for seasoning
- Consider using other herbs in place of salt
- Check sodium levels on foods, especially canned foods, and beverages. You would be amazed at the places you will find sodium
- Go for the lower sodium option of your favorite foods, like chips or pretzels
> Alcohol: It is recommended that alcohol is limited to two drinks per day. Prolonged alcohol use has been shown to have an adverse effect on blood pressure.
When To Seek Professional Treatment
You should see your doctor regularly for health screenings as part of a good preventive care program. If you are doing this, your healthcare provider can see trends developing with your blood pressure and other health factors and give you advice on how to head off serious problems.
If you don’t regularly see a doctor and have a onetime high blood pressure reading, you should schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider for follow-upespecially if you are experiencing symptoms like chest pain or dizziness.
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What Is The Best Natural Supplement For High Blood Pressure
Three main minerals are used to naturally lower blood pressure. If you follow a heart-healthy diet, youre likely to get enough of these from your foodbut for people with poor eating habits, supplementing might be a good idea. Try these:
*Some may recommend taking a potassium supplement, but its especially important to get your current potassium levels tested before doing so. Too much potassium can have potentially fatal side effects.
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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Natural Ways With Potential
If you do an Internet search, youll find dozens of other natural ways to lower blood pressure. They may be effective, but the evidence is limited or questionable.
Take stress reduction, for example. In 2017, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement on the role of meditation in cardiovascular riskreduction. The AHA determined the concept was plausible, but the studies included too few subjects and used different endpoints, which made drawing conclusions impossible.
Some studies showed significant benefit, and others showed none. There simply wasnt enough data to say that meditation consistently lowers blood pressure, says Dr. Laffin. More likely, anything that relaxes you decreases blood pressure temporarily, but isnt a solution for people with sustained hypertension.
The same issue applies to various foods, spices, herbs and vitamins. You will probably find a study or two on each that says it lowers blood pressure, but these have never been robustly studied, he says.
If you are serious about using natural ways to lower blood pressure, choose one or more methods that have stood the test of time.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, doesnt usually cause symptoms. So you wont know if you have high blood pressure without it being measured by a health professional.
Around 1 in 3 Australians have been diagnosed with hypertension.
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Consider Taking Vitamins And Supplements
Research shows that a few vitamins and minerals may be helpful in lowering blood pressure. But talk to your doctor before taking any. Make sure they know everything you take.
- Vitamin C: This has antioxidants that protect the linings of your blood vessels. Orange juice is a good source, as are fruits like kiwi and strawberries, and vegetables like broccoli, kale, tomatoes, and sweet red peppers. Adults should get 400 mg per day.
Potassium: This helps your body get rid of sodium through your pee. Men should aim for 3,400 mg a day, and women around 2,600. Itâs found in fruits like bananas and prunes and vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and artichoke.
Vitamin D: This helps make the enzyme renin, which is linked to blood pressure health. You can get vitamin D from fatty fish, like salmon or mackerel, or milk. You also can absorb vitamin D from sunlight or take it in a supplement.
Calcium Helps Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
Eating foods that contain calcium can help to manage elevated blood pressure issues and prevent cardiovascular heart disease.
The journal Blood Pressure reported that calcium is an important mineral that regulates blood pressure. Not getting enough calcium in your diet can result in hypertension and increase artery pressure.
The American Heart Association published the results of a study showing that consuming yogurt daily can help to naturally reduce the risk of high blood pressure in women. The researchers suggested that raw yogurt should be added to the list of foods to eat for high blood pressure.
Foods that can help bring down blood pressure because they are high in calcium include sardines, cheese, milk, yogurt, and tofu.
If you canât take dairy products or you stick to a vegan diet, find out about other great non-dairy sources of calcium you can enjoy.
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Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
Your doctor may recommend you take measurements yourself while at home. This may help them understand how your blood pressure changes throughout the day or how its responding to treatment.
Some pharmacies offer blood pressure checks too.
Cut Back On Sugar And Refined Carbohydrates
Sugar, especially fructose, may increase your blood pressure more than salt, according to one 2014 review. In trials lasting at least 8 weeks, sugar increased blood pressure by 5.6 mm Hg diastolic and 6.9 mm Hg systolic .
A 2020 study that compared various popular diets found that for people who with more weight or obesity, low carb and low fat diets lowered their diastolic blood pressure by an average of about 5 mm Hg and their systolic blood pressure 3 mm Hg after 6 months .
Another benefit of a low carb, low sugar diet is that you feel fuller longer, because youre consuming more protein and fat.
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Salt Vs Sodium Equivalents
Sodium chloride or table salt is approximately 40 percent sodium. Its important to understand just how much sodium is in salt so you can take measures to control your intake. These amounts are approximate.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium
- 1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium
- 3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium
- 1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium