A person has high blood pressure when blood travels through the arteries at a higher pressure than what is considered normal. People with high blood pressure are at a greater risk for strokes, heart attacks, heart disease, and kidney failure. For this reason, it's important to lower high blood pressure in order to avoid serious health problems. High blood pressure patients can effectively reduce their blood pressure through several ways.
Patients who smoke tobacco can lower their high blood pressure if they quit smoking. Nicotine, which is found in tobacco products, causes blood vessels to narrow and the heart to beat faster. This, in turn, elevates a person's blood pressure. Quitting the smoking habit can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks and heart disease.
Some people experience high blood pressure when they consume too much sodium or salt in their diet. High blood pressure patients should consume no more than 0.1 ounces (2,400 mg) of sodium on a daily basis. The patient's doctor may request that he or she consumes even less amounts of salt.
Losing weight also helps patients reduce blood pressure. A logical way to lose weight is to engage in more physical activity. Committing to regular exercise can help people lose weight, even if the pounds come off slowly. In short, the act of exercising reduces blood pressure and helps people to ward off chronic health problems involving the heart.
Stress can negatively affect a person's blood pressure, but by seeking ways to relieve tension, a patient can reduce blood pressure. Practicing relaxation techniques, taking time to enjoy favorite hobbies, or consulting with a physician can help patients reduce stress in their lives and lower their blood pressure.
The consumption of alcohol raises blood pressure in some people. By limiting alcohol intake to about one or two drinks each day, a high blood pressure patient can lower blood pressure. If a patient experiences higher blood pressure when drinking alcoholic beverages, it may be wise to avoid drinking alcohol.
Doctors can prescribe medication that may reduce blood pressure in some patients. Such medicines are called antihypertensive medicines and are designed to reduce blood pressure levels. Often, these particular medicines must be taken for the rest of a patient's life.
It is important that the high blood pressure patient continues taking the medication unless the doctor tells the patient to stop. If a patient stops taking the medication without the doctor's permission, she could suffer a stroke or heart attack. As with all medications, antihypertensive medicines may cause unpleasant side effects. Consult with a doctor to weigh the pros and cons of particular forms of high blood pressure medication.