Home remedies for high blood pressure
Healthy lifestyle changes can help you control the factors that cause hypertension. Here are some of the most common ones.
Developing a heart-healthy diet
A heart-healthy diet is vital for helping to reduce high blood pressure. It’s also important for managing hypertension that’s under control and reducing the risk of complications. These complications include heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
A heart-healthy diet emphasizes:
- whole grains
- lean proteins like fish
Increasing physical activity
In addition to helping you lose weight (if your doctor has recommended it), exercise can help lower blood pressure naturally, and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
Aim to get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. That’s about 30 minutes, 5 times per week.
Reaching an optimal weight
If you’re living with obesity, maintaining a moderate weight with a heart-healthy diet and increased physical activity can help lower your blood pressure.
Exercise is a great way to manage stress. Other activities can also be helpful. These include:
- deep breathing
- muscle relaxation
- yoga or tai chi
Getting adequate sleep may also help reduce stress levels.
Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol
If you’re a smoker and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor will most likely advise you to quit. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the body’s tissues and harden blood vessel walls.
If you regularly consume too much alcohol or have an alcohol dependency, seek help to reduce the amount you drink or stop altogether. Drinking alcohol in excess can raise blood pressure.
Lifestyle tips to lower your risk of hypertension
If you have risk factors for hypertension, you can take steps now to lower your risk for the condition and its complications.
Add fruits and vegetables 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 2 weeks. After those 2 weeks, aim to add one more serving. The goal is to have 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Limit refined sugar
Try to limit the amount of sugar-sweetened foods, like flavored yogurts, cereals, and sodas, you eat on a daily basis. Packaged foods hide unnecessary sugar, so be sure to read labels.
Reduce sodium intake
People living with hypertension and those with an increased risk for heart disease may be advised by their doctor to keep their daily sodium intake between 1,500 milligrams and 2,300 milligrams per day.
The best way to reduce sodium is to cook fresh foods more often and limit the amount of fast food or prepackaged food you eat, which can sometimes be very high in sodium.
Set weight loss goals
If your doctor has recommended you lose weight, talk with them about an optimal weight loss goal for you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
recommends a weight loss goal of one to two pounds a week. This can be achieved through a more nutritious diet and increased physical exercise.
Employing the help of a trainer or fitness app, and possibly even a dietician, are all methods to help you learn how to make the best choices for your body and your lifestyle.
Monitor your blood pressure regularly
The best way to prevent complications and avoid problems is to recognize hypertension early.
Keep a log of your blood pressure readings and take it to your regular doctor appointments. This can help your doctor see any possible problems before the condition advances.
High blood pressure during pregnancy
People with hypertension can deliver healthy babies despite having the condition. But it can be dangerous to both the birthing parent and baby if it’s not monitored closely and managed during the pregnancy.
People with high blood pressure who become pregnant are more likely to develop complications. For example, pregnant women with hypertension may experience decreased kidney function. Babies born to birthing parents with hypertension may have a low birth weight or be born prematurely.
Some people may develop hypertension during their pregnancies. Several types of high blood pressure problems can develop. The condition often reverses itself once the baby is born. Developing hypertension during pregnancy may increase your risk for developing hypertension later in life.
In some cases, pregnant people with hypertension may develop preeclampsia during their pregnancy. This condition of increased blood pressure can cause kidney and other organ complications. This can result in high protein levels in the urine, problems with liver function, fluid in the lungs, or visual problems.
As this condition worsens, the risks increase for the mother and baby. Preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia, which causes seizures. High blood pressure problems in pregnancy remain an important cause of maternal death in the United States. Complications for the baby include low birth weight, early birth, and stillbirth.
There’s no known way to prevent preeclampsia, and the only way to treat the condition is to deliver the baby. If you develop this condition during your pregnancy, your doctor will closely monitor you for complications.
What are the effects of high blood pressure on the body?
Because hypertension is often a silent condition, it can cause damage to your body for years before symptoms become obvious. If hypertension isn’t treated, you may face serious, even fatal, complications.
Complications of hypertension include the following.
Healthy arteries are flexible and strong. Blood flows freely and unobstructed through healthy arteries and vessels.
Hypertension makes arteries tougher, tighter, and less elastic. This damage makes it easier for dietary fats to deposit in your arteries and restrict blood flow. This damage can lead to increased blood pressure, blockages, and, eventually, heart attack and stroke.
Hypertension makes your heart work too hard. The increased pressure in your blood vessels forces your heart’s muscles to pump more frequently and with more force than a healthy heart should have to.
This may cause an enlarged heart. An enlarged heart increases your risk for the following:
- heart failure
- sudden cardiac death
- heart attack
Your brain relies on a healthy supply of oxygen-rich blood to work properly. Untreated high blood pressure can reduce your brain’s supply of blood:
- Temporary blockages of blood flow to the brain are called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).
- Significant blockages of blood flow cause brain cells to die. This is known as a stroke.
Uncontrolled hypertension may also affect your memory and ability to learn, recall, speak, and reason. Treating hypertension often doesn’t erase or reverse the effects of uncontrolled hypertension. But it does lower the risks for future problems.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a very common health issue in the United States.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your treatment plan will vary depending on factors. These include the severity of your high blood pressure, and what medication your doctor thinks will work best for you.
The good news is that in many cases of hypertension, lifestyle changes can be powerful tools for managing, or even reversing, your diagnosis. These changes include incorporating more nutritious fruits and vegetables into your diet, getting more physical activity, limiting your sodium intake, and limiting your alcohol consumption.
Because hypertension often presents with no symptoms, it’s important to get your blood pressure checked during your yearly physicals. Severe hypertension can cause serious health issues, so the sooner you have it diagnosed, the sooner it can be managed — and possibly even reversed!
Culled from healthline.com