High blood pressure, or hypertension, is often called a silent disease, because it is possible to have high blood pressure for many years before symptoms appear. Headaches and dizziness are often the first signs of high blood pressure. Getting prompt and effective treatment for hypertension is important, because untreated chronic high blood pressure increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure remedies such as dietary modifications, exercise and medication all can be effective. Anyone with high blood pressure should consult a medical doctor before beginning an exercise program or modifying the diet, to ensure that he or she is making healthy changes.
High blood pressure has a number of causes and risk factors. Stress, excess weight, physical inactivity, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, low potassium intake and high sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure. Other factors such as age, sodium sensitivity and family history also play a role. The more risk factors a person has, the more likely he or she is to develop hypertension.
Medical high blood pressure remedies work via a number of different pathways to reduce blood pressure. Common hypertension medications include calcium-channel blockers, ACE inhibitors and diuretics. Each type of medication works in a different way, and many doctors prescribe a combination of drugs to help patients reduce blood pressure.
In addition to drug-oriented high blood pressure remedies, most doctors recommend that people with hypertension try to lower blood pressure by making lifestyle changes. The two most common recommendations are to modify the diet and to increase physical activity. Dietary modifications include reducing the use of salt, increasing servings of vegetables and fruits and choosing whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products instead of processed foods and foods containing added salt or sugar.
Regular exercise is one of the most effective high blood pressure remedies, because it can lower blood pressure, improve heart health and even mitigate some of the effects of other risk factors such as tobacco use. Exercise is important because the heart is a muscle, so regular exercise will make it stronger and larger. A larger, stronger heart can pump blood more efficiently and with less strain.
Many natural high blood pressure remedies, including diet and exercise, provide an advantage over prescribed medications because they can be used before medical treatment is necessary. There even is evidence that specific foods can help keep blood pressure levels in check. Garlic, for example, has been shown to help reduce high blood pressure in a clinical setting. Another remedy that can be eaten in food or taken as a supplement is fish oil. Evidence suggests that fatty acids in some fish and fish oil help lower blood pressure and might be useful as a preventative measure.