High bood pressure, or hypertension, is a condiottion that may not cause any noticiable symptoms for years. Having your blood pressure checked is the only way to know if it is high.
Yet, untreated hypertension can result in serious illnesses such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Diet and lifestyle changes may be enough to control mildly elevated blood pressure. Your Doctor may prescribe blood pressure medication and lifestyle changes if your blood pressure is moderately to severely high.
The AHA says the fallowing lifestyle choices can help reduce your blood pressure:
DON’T SMOKE :
Inhaling cigarette smoke stimulates your heart, making it beat faster. It also narrows your blood vessels, causing your blood pressure to rise temporarily.
Smoking is also a major risk factor for heart disease, leanding to hardening of the arteries and heart attacks.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Studies have found people who lose weight also lower their blood pressure. To lose weight safely, eat fewer foods high in fat and calories and increase your physical activity.
EXERCISE REGULARLY :
Regular aerobic exercise tones your heart, blood vessels and muscles and keeps your blood pressure. Meditate, listen to stress management tapes or do relaxation exercises daily.
DRINK MODERATELY :
If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Heavy, regular consumption of alcohol can increase blood pressure dramatically. Experts recommend no more that two drinks a day for man and one drink a day for a woman.
HEALTHY EATING AND LIMIT YOUR SALT INTAKE :
The dash diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension, is an effective eating plan tha has been shown to lower blood pressure. It doesn’t require special foods; instead, it recommends a conatain number of servings from a variety of food groups – vegetables, fruits, fat-free or low-fat milk, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It also calls for limiting sugar, fats, and red meat, and reducing salt (sodium) intake to 2.300 milligrams (mg) which is about 1 teaspoon of table salt or 1.500 mg (two thirds teaspoon of table salt) daily. Fallowing the DASH diet and keeping salt intake to 1.500 mg perday has shown the biggest benefit for blood pressure reduction in people with high blood pressure. The 2010 recomendation by the US Deparment of Agriculture say most people should limit sodium consumption to less than 2.300 mg per day. The recommended daily sodium intake is 1.500 mg for African Americans and people who have already been diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, as well as individuals ages 51 and older.
TAKE YOUR MEDICINE :
Fallow these guidelines if your doctor prescribes blood pressure medications :
* Take all your medication prescribed.
* Take your pills at the same time each day.
* Never skip your pills because you have side effects or don’t believe your blood pressure is high. Call your doctor to discuss your concerns.
* Refill your prescription before it runs out.
* Don’t stop taking your medication because your blood pressure test normal. It’s normal because you’re taking the medication.