How To Lower Blood Pressure
There are lots of things you can do to lower your blood pressure.
If your doctor has given you blood pressure medication, take it as prescribed. However, you’ll also need to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with hypertension, following these tips will be good for your blood pressure and good for your heart.
Stopping smoking is a great thing you can do for your blood pressure and your heart health.
Ask your doctor or nurse for help.
Phone Quitline 0800 778 778, or visit quit.org.nz for information and support.
Eat more heart-healthy foods and less salt
What you put into your body can make a big difference to your blood pressure.
Eat a wide variety of heart-healthy foods like:
- whole grains
Read more about the benefits of exercise.
Researchers are still trying to understand the exact link between stress and long-term high blood pressure. However being stressed contributes to other risk factors like poor diet and drinking more alcohol.
You can’t always remove the sources of stress in your life. But here are some things you can do to manage them.
- Enjoy exercise every day, like taking a walk.
- Take a break for yourself.
- Get 7-8 hours plus sleep each night.
- Talk about how you are feeling.
- Try relaxation music or breathing exercises.
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
Diagnosing hypertension is as simple as taking a blood pressure reading. Most doctors offices check blood pressure as part of a routine visit. If you dont receive a blood pressure reading at your next appointment, request one.
If your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor may request you have more readings over the course of a few days or weeks. A hypertension diagnosis is rarely given after just one reading. Your doctor needs to see evidence of a sustained problem. Thats because your environment can contribute to increased blood pressure, such as the stress you may feel by being at the doctors office. Also, blood pressure levels change throughout the day.
If your blood pressure remains high, your doctor will likely conduct more tests to rule out underlying conditions. These tests can include:
- cholesterol screening and other blood tests
- test of your hearts electrical activity with an electrocardiogram
- ultrasound of your heart or kidneys
These tests can help your doctor identify any secondary issues causing your elevated blood pressure. They can also look at the effects high blood pressure may have had on your organs.
During this time, your doctor may begin treating your hypertension. Early treatment may reduce your risk of lasting damage.
Two numbers create a blood pressure reading:
Five categories define blood pressure readings for adults:
This Is High Blood Pressure
When your heart beats, it pumps blood around your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your heart;and blood vessels.;This is called high blood pressure, or hypertension.;Over time it can lead to a number of health problems including heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and some forms of dementia. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to;lower it.
High blood pressure is very common, about a third of adults in the UK have it, but many arent aware of it. It doesnt usually have any symptoms so the only way to know you have it is to have a blood pressure check.
What Are The Kidneys And What Do They Do
Healthy kidneys filter about a half cup of blood every minute, removing wastes and extra water to make urine. The urine flows from each kidney to the bladder through a pair of thin tubes called ureters, one on each side of your bladder. Your bladder stores urine. Your kidneys, ureters, and bladder are part of your urinary tract system.
Number Of Pregnant Women With High Blood Pressure Rises More Than Thirteenfold Since 1970 Study Finds
If not treated, high blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to a number of complications for both the mother and the baby. Hypertension can affect a mother’s kidneys and increase her risk of future heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
It can also increase the risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, preeclampsia, placental abruption, cesarean delivery, and HELLP syndrome .
Surprising Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Quick – what causes high blood pressure? The first culprits that pop into your mind are likely to be: eating too much salt, being stressed out all the time, and alcohol abuse. And you would be right. But there are also less obvious causes of high blood pressure, a condition that affects about one in three, or 78 million, adults in the U.S.
The best data demonstrates that hypertension is almost unavoidable as we age, says Clyde Yancy, MD, chief of cardiology and associate director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Once we reach age 55, we have a 90 percent chance of becoming hypertensive.”
Yet that inevitability doesnt mean we cant do something about it. Step one is to modify your lifestyle: lose weight, exercise, and eat a wholesome diet, explains Dr. Yancy. Another thing you can do: Get to know these less well-known blood pressure factors:
How Do You Make Lifestyle Changes
Making any kind of change in the way you live your daily life is like being on a path. The path leads to success. Here are the first steps on that path:
How Can I Prevent Or Slow The Progression Of Kidney Disease From High Blood Pressure
The best way to slow or prevent kidney disease;from high blood pressure is to take steps to lower your blood pressure. These steps include a combination of medicines and lifestyle changes, such as
- being physically active
- managing stress
- following a healthy diet, including less sodium intake
No matter what the cause of your kidney disease, high blood pressure can make your kidneys worse. If you have kidney disease, you should talk with your health care professional about your individual blood pressure goals and how often you should have your blood pressure checked.
What Changes Do You Need To Make
Make these lifestyle changes to help lower your blood pressure:
- Lose extra weight. If you are overweight, losing as little as 4.5 kg may lower your blood pressure. It may also allow you to take less blood pressure medicine. Losing weight may also lower your cholesterol.
List Of Foods That Cause High Blood Pressure: 22 Worst Foods
The risk of;hypertension or high blood pressure, is associated with lack of exercise and weight gain as well. Habits like;eating salty foods and smoking;can increase blood pressure. Everything which you ingest may either cause blood pressure to be high or help it. This is due to the sodium retention. As we know, sodium retention is a major primary factor of hypertension. Therefore, with hypertension you want to have one diet low in fat and sodium. In this article, VKool.com will show you 22 worst foods on the list of foods that cause high blood pressure. The writing collected a list of foods that cause high blood pressure from reliable sources. However, it is not intended to give medical advice and it is solely for the informational purpose. Keep reading this writing to learn these 22 foods that cause high blood pressure in more detail!
It Is Well Known That High Sodium Consumption May Raise You Blood Pressure Levels But There Are Some Other Foods Too That Can Have A Negative Impact
- NDTV Food Desk
- Dairy products like milk and cheese contain sodium naturally
- Drinking more than three drinks can temporarily raise your blood pressure
- Caffeine is known to raise your blood pressure levels
1. Dairy products: ;Dairy products like milk and cheese contain sodium naturally. 2. Alcohol: Drinking more than three drinks in one go can temporarily raise your blood pressure3. Coffee: ;The primary stimulant in coffee, caffeine is known to raise your blood pressure levels4. Refined sugar:Excess sugar leads to more fat creation and fat accumulation5. Frozen fish and seafood:6. Pork, red meat and processed meat: Pork and red meat contain a whole lot of fat that may get accumulated in the body7. Pickles: Your favourite pickle may be sneakily raising your blood pressure
Add Healthy Foods To Your Diet
Slowly work your way up to eating more servings of heart-healthy plants. Aim to eat more than seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Then aim to add one more serving per day for two weeks. After those two weeks, aim to add one more serving. The goal is to have ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
You Don’t Drink Enough Water
While drinking water has been shown to boost metabolism and slightly raise blood pressure, being dehydrated can also raise blood pressure. A study in the journal Sports Medicine found that acute body water loss due to sweating can disrupt proper function of the lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, impairing blood pressure regulation. Even mild dehydration can thicken blood and impede blood flow and raise bp, the study found.
Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure More May Cut Health Risks
One major study found;that lowering systolic blood pressure to well below the commonly recommended level also greatly lowered the number of cardiovascular events and deaths among people at least 50 years old with high blood pressure.
When study participants achieved a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mmHg compared to the higher target of 140 mmHg recommended for most people, and 150 for people over 60 issues such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure were reduced by almost one-third, and the risk of death by almost one-fourth.
“That’s important information, because more lives may be saved and more deaths may be prevented if we maintain lower blood pressure in certain patients,” says Lynne Braun, NP, PhD, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Heart Center for Women.
Braun cautions, however, that your personal blood pressure target depends on a variety of things, including your current blood pressure, lifestyle, risk factors, other medications you are taking and your age. “Every person has to be evaluated as an individual,” she says. “Realistically, we can’t get everybody down to 120, and trying to do so may create unintended problems.”
It can be dangerous, for instance, to keep an older person on medications that have unsafe side effects, such as diuretics , which can cause dehydration and dizziness in older adults.
And there can be other issues involved with taking multiple medications, such as cost and compliance.
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.
Why Is Your Blood Pressure Important
Your blood pressure is important because if it is too high, it affects the blood flow to your organs. Over the years, this increases your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction and other conditions.
Very occasionally, people with very high blood pressure are at serious risk of problems and need urgent treatment in hospital to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Current Australian guidelines recommend that if you have persistent raised blood pressure over 160/100 mmHg, but are at low risk of having a stroke or heart attack, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about taking medication to lower your blood pressure.
For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
If youre over 18, you should have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least every 2 years, or more often if advised.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Theres no single cause of high blood pressure, but rather many contributing factors. Some are out of your control, such as age, race, gender, and family historyblood pressure tends to increase over the age of 70, affects more women than men over the age of 55, and is more common in African Americans than Caucasians, perhaps due to a genetic sensitivity to salt.
Many other risk factors for hypertension are within your control. Being overweight, eating a poor diet high in salt, smoking, drinking excessively, and not getting enough physical exercise can all impact your blood pressure.
There are also specific substances that can raise your blood pressure, such as:
- Caffeine, including coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
- Prescription medications, including some of those used to treat ADHD, birth control pills, corticosteroids, atypical antipsychotics, MAOIs and SNRIs used to treat depression, and some cancer drugs. ;
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen .
- Cough and cold medications containing decongestant or NSAIDs.
- Herbal supplements, such as ephedra and yohimbine.
- Recreational drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
- Licorice found in some candies and gum.
The Top 10 Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure Include:
Being overweight or obese
The more you weigh the more blood flow you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the volume of blood circulated through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure inside your arteries.
Too much salt in your diet
Too much sodium in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, and also causes the arteries in your body to constrict. Both factors increase blood pressure.
Too little potassium in your diet
Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells. Potassium causes the smooth muscle cells in your arteries to relax, which lowers blood pressure.
Not being physically active
Exercise increases blood flow through all arteries of the body, which leads to release of natural hormones and cytokines that relax blood vessels, which in turn lowers blood pressure. Lack of physical activity also increases the risk of being overweight.
Drinking too much alcohol
Having more than two drinks per day can cause hypertension, probably by activating your adrenergic nervous system, causing constriction of blood vessels and simultaneous increase in blood flow and heart rate.
High levels of stress can lead to a temporary, but dramatic, increase in blood pressure. If you try to relax by eating more, using tobacco or drinking alcohol, you may only exacerbate problems with high blood pressure.Relaxation and meditation techniques effectively lower blood pressure.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
Youre Having More Than One Alcoholic Drink Per Day
For people who already drink, moderate alcohol consumption is often not a problem, and some research suggests it may even help prevent heart disease. However, heavier alcohol consumptionespecially frequent binge drinking episodescan lead to chronically elevated blood pressure, says Dr. Philips. Research has also tied binge drinking to an increased risk of developing atherosclerosisbuildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
BP fix: If youre going to drink, drink moderately.
One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits. And if its really more about the ritual than the alcohol itself, consider periodically swapping out your glass of cabernet for a kombucha or one of those trendy new non-alcoholic cocktails from brands like Curious Elixirs, Seedlip, and Kin.
Complications Of High Blood Pressure
Long-standing high blood pressure can damage the heart and blood vessels and increase the risk of
With longstanding high blood pressure, the heart enlarges and the heart’s walls thicken because the heart has to work harder to pump blood. The thickened walls are stiffer than normal. Consequently, the heart’s chambers do not expand normally and are harder to fill with blood, further increasing the heart’s workload. These changes in the heart may result in abnormal heart rhythms or heart failure.
High blood pressure causes thickening of the walls of blood vessels and also makes them more likely to develop hardening of the arteries . People with thickened blood vessel walls and atherosclerosis are at higher risk of stroke, heart attack, vascular dementia, and kidney failure. Stroke and heart attack are considered atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease .