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What are the Best Ways to Reduce Hypertension?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 17, 2024
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The best way to reduce hypertension, or high blood pressure, is to make a few lifestyle changes, such as not smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight as well as coping with stress. It's important to note that what may trigger high blood pressure in one person, such as consuming too much salt, may not do so in another. In this way, being able to reduce hypertension is not always easy to achieve, yet healthy lifestyle changes are still advisable to achieve overall health. A doctor will prescribe blood pressure lowering medication if necessary; it's important not to let hypertension go untreated. Whereas one lifestyle change may not lower a person's blood pressure, it's extremely likely that other healthy living changes will; that often results in less medication needed to decrease hypertension.

Smoking can interfere with proper blood pressure levels in people with hypertension. The blood vessels become constricted which increases rather than reduces hypertension. Vascular issues can also lead to heart disease and stroke. More than two drinks containing alcohol per day is thought to as much as double the risk of having high blood pressure. The more alcohol consumed, the higher the risk for increasing blood pressure.

Limiting or eliminating alcoholic beverages and decreasing or quitting smoking can be some of the best ways to reduce hypertension. Caffeine is another substance thought to increase hypertension, at least somewhat, in people who already have high blood pressure. Some studies show that people with high blood pressure who consume coffee as well as smoke may experience a marked increase in hypertension.

Weight loss can be one of the most effective blood pressure reducers. Since regular exercise has also shown to effectively help reduce hypertension as well as aid in weight loss and maintenance, physical activity is especially crucial for those needing to lower their blood pressure. Keeping physically active is also thought to prevent hypertension in many cases. The top number in a blood pressure reading, which is the systolic rate, can often be greatly lowered through regular exercise. The amount physical activity can reduce high blood pressure may be as much as hypertension medications.

Eliminating salt, or sodium, from the diet can reduce hypertension in many people. Not everyone responds to limiting salt as a blood pressure reduction method, however, in at least some cases, people aren't aware that they're over-consuming sodium. Salt is often included in many processed food in high amounts. Eating these foods tends to increase hypertension just as much, if not more, than adding table salt to home cooked foods.

As stress caused by constant worrying or not taking enough time to relax can have a dramatic impact on hypertension in some people, it should be avoided as much as possible. Calmly figuring out problems rather than worrying excessively may help reduce hypertension. Taking the time to meditate, read and just relax while breathing deeply may also aid in keeping high blood pressure under control. If natural blood pressure lowering methods don't work, those with hypertension should get advice, and perhaps medication, from a qualified medical doctor.

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