If you’ve recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure or are tired of managing your hypertension with medications, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are many natural ways to lower blood pressure. In fact, simple lifestyle changes like exercising and eating a healthful diet can help you manage and lower your blood pressure.
Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), it’s a myth that you can spot high blood pressure by looking for symptoms. Difficulty sleeping, facial flushing, dizziness, headaches, and nosebleeds are often believed to be symptoms of high blood pressure, but these symptoms are usually not related to hypertension. This is why the AHA calls high blood pressure a “silent killer.” When left untreated, high blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure usually develops over several years, and according to the Mayo Clinic, it affects nearly everyone. Luckily, it’s also easy to detect. As your arteries narrow, your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. The narrower your arteries and the harder your heart has to work, the higher your blood pressure.
There are two types of high blood pressure. The first is known as primary hypertension. For many adults, this type of high blood pressure simply develops with age. The second type of high blood pressure is called secondary hypertension and tends to appear rapidly. Unlike primary hypertension, where there is no known cause, secondary hypertension can usually be traced to a medication, lifestyle, or larger health problem. According to the Mayo Clinic, causes of secondary hypertension include the following:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney problems
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Thyroid problems
- Congenital defects in blood vessels
- Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers, and some prescription drugs
- Alcohol abuse or chronic alcohol use
Another common risk factor linked to hypertension is age. Finally, your risk of developing high blood pressure is also higher if you smoke, are inactive, are overweight, are chronically stressed, or drink heavily.
To determine whether or not you suffer from high blood pressure, simply schedule a visit with your doctor. Your doctor or nurse will use a quick, painless test to check your blood pressure. While there are several medications that can help you manage and lower your blood pressure, there are also many natural ways to lower blood pressure.
Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Hypertension can be linked to lifestyle factors including diet and exercise. This means there are plenty of natural ways to lower your blood pressure. Try incorporating the following lifestyle changes if you’re trying to lower your blood pressure:
- Exercise regularly (aim for 30 minutes of exercise every day)
- Eat a healthful diet that is high in potassium
- Lose extra weight (losing weight around the waistline is especially beneficial)
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Reduce your sodium intake
- Quit smoking
- Reduce your stress levels
- Cut back on your caffeine intake, as it can cause a short-term spike in blood pressure
No matter which lifestyle changes you tackle, be sure to consult your doctor first. He or she might have some personalized suggestions based on your age, health, fitness level, and current medications.
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