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How To Lower Top Blood Pressure Number

Follow A Healthy Diet

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A healthy diet with a variety of nutritious foods, in line with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, will help keep blood pressure under control as well as your cholesterol and weight.

  • 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.

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:

How To Read Your Blood Pressure

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 a systolic reading of 130 or higher, or a diastolic reading of 80 or higher.

Blood Pressure Categories
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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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Drugs And Supplements To Avoid With High Blood Pressure

It’s just as important to avoid substances that can increase your blood pressure as it is to make lifestyle changes and take blood pressure medications.

Here is a list of substances to avoid if you have high blood pressure:

  • Over-the-counter “decongestant” cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, like Sudafed
  • Chronic use of NSAIDs , like Motrin , Advil , and Aleve

How Blood Pressure Is Measured

Blood pressure basics  Paging Doctor T

To measure your blood pressure manually, your provider will:

  • Wrap a special cuff around your upper arm .
  • Inflate the cuff to make it tight around your arm. Theyll squeeze a ball connected to the cuff to do this. This briefly stops blood flow in your brachial artery by squeezing it. The gauge should say 200 mmHg at this time.
  • Deflate the cuff while using a stethoscope to listen to your blood going through your brachial artery. Deflating the cuff makes the gauge needle start to come down.
  • Listen for when a pulse starts and look at the number on the gauge at that time. Thats the systolic number.
  • Open the valve to loosen the blood pressure cuff so it stops squeezing your brachial artery.
  • Look at the gauge reading when the cuff deflates and they hear blood flowing again. This is the diastolic number.

You or your provider can use a blood pressure monitor to check your blood pressure automatically.

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Lowering Your Systolic Blood Pressure

Researchers have always looked at the value of lowering high blood pressure. In recent years, theyve focused on the lifesaving benefits of lowering systolic pressure. The top number in your blood pressure reading, systolic pressure measures how much force your blood exerts against your artery walls while your heart beats, according to the American Heart Association. The bottom number, diastolic pressure, is the blood pressure between heartbeats. Diastolic pressure tends to fall naturally after age 55.

A 2015 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that volunteers who lowered their systolic pressure to 120 mm Hg had a 25 percent lower risk of heart attack and a 43 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular causes compared with those whose systolic pressure was 140.

Losing weight, eating less sodium, exercising more, and quitting smoking are among the best non-medicinal ways to reduce your systolic pressure substantially and for the long term. Your doctor also might prescribe medication. But if you need extra help reaching your goal, these lesser-known tricks can shave off a few points on your systolic pressure. In some cases, the effects will be temporary but will eliminate artificial inflation, making your readings more medically trustworthy.

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Medicines For High Blood Pressure

Why are different people given different medicines?

People respond differently to blood pressure medicines. A number of things can affect how you respond to each medicine, including your ethnic background, age and how much salt you eat. It can take some trial and error to find the medicine or combination of medicines that works best for you.

Younger, non-black people tend to respond slightly better to ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. Older people and those of African or Caribbean origin tend to respond better to calcium-channel blockers and thiazide diuretics.

These will usually be the first medicines youre offered, aiming to keep the number of medicines needed to a minimum. Read more about .

Should I be taking aspirin as well?

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor might recommend that you take aspirin if you are at a higher risk of heart attacks or strokes, for example, if you have had an ischaemic stroke caused by a blood clot or heart attack in the past. This is because aspirin thins your blood and prevents blood clots from forming.

Do not start taking aspirin regularly unless your doctor advsises you to because aspirin’s ability to prevent clots can raise the risk of bleeding from the stomach and intestines, it might also be linked to a higher risk of strokes caused by burst blood vessels.

How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Immediately

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High blood pressure is a dangerous condition that impacts nearly half of adults in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . In 2018, close to half a million deaths in the country had high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause. Occurring when the force of blood pressing against artery walls is consistently too high, high blood pressure requires a long-term care approach. However, there are several ways to temporarily lower your blood pressure in just a matter of minutesgive these methods a try if youd like to lower your blood pressure immediately:

  • Take a warm bath or shower. Stay in your shower or bath for at least 15 minutes and enjoy the warm water. This can also help reduce muscle tension.
  • Do a breathing exercise. Take a deep breath from your core, hold your breath for about two seconds, then slowly exhale. Pause for a few moments and repeat.
  • Relax! Stress is a key contributor to high blood pressure, so do whatever you can to relax. This may be as simple as sitting in a quiet room for a few moments, doing a few stretching exercises, reading a good book, or meditating.

These techniques can provide a quick fix, but its important to implement a long-term care plan to successfully manage your high blood pressure. Some of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure include:

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Cut Back On Sugar And Refined Carbohydrates

Many studies show that restricting sugar and refined carbohydrates can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.

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.

Salt Intake And High Blood Pressure

Reducing the amount of salt you eat can also help to manage or even avoid high blood pressure. To help reduce your salt intake:

  • Ensure your diet consists of wholefoods including vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, lean meat and poultry, fish and seafood, legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Avoid packaged and processed foods that are high in salt. You cant see the salt in these foods, so you dont know how much salt you are having. Get into the habit of checking food labels.
  • Choose low-salt food where possible. If you cant find low-salt products, those with moderate amounts of salt are ok too. Another simple alternative is to look for labels with low salt, salt reduced or no added salt.
  • Avoid adding salt to cooking or at the table flavour meals with herbs and spices instead.

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What Does High Blood Pressure Feel Like

High blood pressure often doesn’t have any symptoms, so you usually don’t feel it. Thats why its important to stay up to date on your preventive care screenings can help identify potential problems like elevated blood pressure when its easiest to treat.

If your blood pressure reaches extremely high levels, you may get a headache, shortness of breath or a nosebleed. However, these symptoms may not be specific to your blood pressure. Critically high blood pressure can be caused by conditions that can have similar symptoms, like strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure or certain drug interactions.

What Should I Expect After The Blood Pressure Test

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If youre nervous when you go to your appointment, you could have a false high blood pressure reading. This is called white coat syndrome. If this happens, your healthcare provider may ask you to use a blood pressure monitor to check your blood pressure throughout the day. You can bring a record of your blood pressure readings to your appointments.

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What Problems Can It Cause

All types of high blood pressure, including isolated systolic hypertension, can slowly damage the inside of your arteries and cause tiny tears in their walls. A chemical called LDL cholesterol can build up in those damaged blood vessels and form a layer called plaque. That makes your arteries narrower and raises your blood pressure even higher.

When that happens, the arteries that carry oxygen to your heart can get blocked, and that can lead to a heart attack or a stroke . It also can make blood vessels in your brain burst, and that can cause a stroke, too.

In other parts of your body, it can strain the blood vessels in your eyes and make you lose your eyesight or damage the arteries around your kidneys so they donât filter your blood the way they should.

What Is Systolic Blood Pressure

When your doctor measures your blood pressure, you hear two numbers. The first is your systolic blood pressure, the amount of pressure that your heart exerts against the walls of your arteries with each pump. The second number, your diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure that your heart exerts between beats.

Many factors can push systolic blood pressure beyond normal, or above 120 millimeters of mercury, according to the American Heart Association. One factor is age. Over time, plaque can build up in the walls of your arteries, requiring the heart to exert more effort with each pump. But diet, weight, exercise habits and stress can exacerbate the problem.

Read more:About Systolic & Diastolic Blood Pressure During Exercise

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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.

Quit Smoking And Limit Your Alcohol Intake

How I Lowered My Systolic Blood Pressure To 120

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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Who Gets Isolated Systolic Hypertension

Older people are more likely to have it, because systolic blood pressure usually goes up as you age.

  • More than 30% of women over 65 and more than 20% of men have this condition.
  • If your parents had high blood pressure, you may be more likely to have it.
  • African-Americans are more likely than other groups to have high blood pressure.

What Blood Pressure Is Too High

If your top number is ever 180 or higher and/or your bottom number is ever 120 or higher, get emergency medical treatment or have someone take you to the hospital right away. This is a hypertensive crisis.

During a hypertensive crisis, you may experience:

  • Difficulty with being able to see or talk.
  • Pain in your back.
  • Weakness or numbness.

Higher blood pressure ranges mean you may have stage 1 or 2 hypertension .

  • Stage 1 hypertension is 130-139 or 80-89 .
  • Stage 2 hypertension is 140 or higher or 90 or higher .

When your blood pressure readings are in stage 1 or stage 2, your provider will ask you to make lifestyle changes and take blood pressure medicine.

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Can Walking Lower Your Blood Pressure

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Try Cutting Back On The Salt

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Reducing your sodium intake can play an important role in lowering your systolic blood pressure. The average American consumes more than 3,500 milligrams of sodium daily, which is well above the American Heart Association‘s recommendation of less than 2,300 milligrams per day.

“I think we all know that adding salt to your food is bad for your blood pressure,” Dr. Berger says. “But what we don’t always know is that when you eat food from a can or a box, it is filled with sodium.”

Dr. Berger recommends following a reduced-sodium diet called DASH , developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which also emphasizes a reduction in trans fats and refined sugar, as well as a sufficient intake of magnesium, potassium and calcium.

Because everyone responds differently to dietary changes, it may take some fine-tuning to find the right diet for your specific heart health.

“Everyone’s sodium responsiveness is a bit different,” says Howard Weintraub, MD, the clinical director of the Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, at NYU Langone Health in New York City. “So if you’re going to take the time to modify your nutrition, you shouldn’t only reduce how much salt you use, but also make it more healthy in general.”

In other words, Dr. Weintraub says, leaving the salt off but continuing to eat French fries probably isn’t going to help.

Read more:10 Effortless Ways to Finally Cut Down on Salt

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