Author: John Carter

6 Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication

how to reduce blood pressure without drugs

Two days of muscle-strengthening exercises per week is also recommended. Although not everyone’s blood pressure is particularly salt-sensitive, everyone could benefit from cutting back, says Eva Obarzanek, Ph.D., research nutritionist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends aiming for 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium in a day, and certainly no more than 2,300 mg (about a teaspoon). Obarzanek suggests treading with caution around packaged and processed foods, including secret salt bombs like bread, pizza, poultry, soup, and sandwiches. Our bodies react to stress by releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

However, maintaining optimal hydration can help manage your blood pressure in the long term. But that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol. That’s right, research suggests that snagging extra sleep during the day can be as helpful as other lifestyle changes for getting a handle on high BP.

Eat a healthy diet

While plenty of health conditions make you painfully aware of their presence via any number of impossible-to-ignore symptoms, high blood pressure (a.k.a. hypertension) can be a sneakier beast. You can literally walk around all day, every day without a clue that your blood pressure numbers are higher than they should be—many people don’t have physical symptoms that they can feel. Although people who have high blood pressure (which is nearly half of adults in the US) might not have any discomfort from it most of the time, it’s really serious. High blood pressure significantly ups your risk of heart attack and stroke, makes you more likely to develop kidney disease, and can even mess with your sex drive. However, if you don’t have sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, follow these simple tips for getting more restful sleep. Potassium in the diet can lessen the effects of salt (sodium) on blood pressure.

  1. However, a 2022 review of 31 studies found dark chocolate consumption may be better than cocoa drinks in delivering the amount of flavonol (notably epicatechins) that may reduce blood pressure.
  2. Some examples of aerobic exercise you may try to lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing.
  3. This may put you in touch with people who can give you an emotional or morale boost and who can offer practical tips to cope with your condition.
  4. This article presents 11 tricks to lowering blood pressure and long-term decisions you can make to integrate these steps into your lifestyle.
  5. Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish.

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. Probiotics have been buzzy for some time now—and touted to ease digestion and support immune health. Some examples of aerobic exercise that can help lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. This type of training involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with periods of lighter activity. Over time, high blood pressure can lead to an array of health complications.

Try fermented foods

This is why stress management is one of the best ways to naturally lower blood pressure. In order to get the most accurate blood pressure reading, avoid drinking coffee (or any caffeinated beverages) three hours before measurement. Even switching to a less harmful alternative, like e-cigarettes, could benefit blood pressure. One study found that smokers who reduced or quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes effectively lowered their blood pressure long-term. Smoking increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Quitting smoking could make a big difference in your blood pressure.

how to reduce blood pressure without drugs

A number of issues can disrupt sleep, including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and general sleeplessness (insomnia). Limiting alcohol to less than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men can help lower blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor. The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among groups of people. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg a day or less — is ideal for most adults.

Risk Factors

They may encourage you to take care of yourself, drive you to the care provider’s office or start an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure low. Exercise can also help keep elevated blood pressure from turning into high blood pressure (hypertension). For those who have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring blood pressure down to safer levels.

However, if you don’t have sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, follow these simple tips for getting more restful sleep. If you haven’t hopped on the zero-proof beverage bandwagon yet, your invitation has arrived. Not only does drinking more alcohol than the standard rec of one drink per day for women and two for men raise blood pressure, but it can also make BP medications less effective, according to Dr. Jean. In fact, research shows that alcohol has a “direct and linear” relationship with systolic blood pressure (the first number in your BP reading), meaning that the more you drink, the higher that number creeps.

Excitement, being active, sleeping and waking up are all situations where blood pressure changes naturally. When your activity ends, your BP reading should return to a normal range. Dark chocolate may help to lower blood pressure because of its flavonol content, which can relax blood vessels through vasodilation and improve blood flow. It’s normal for your blood pressure to rise and fall during the day. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

Some examples of aerobic exercise you may try to lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. You can also try high-intensity interval training, which involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with subsequent recovery periods of lighter activity. Managing stress and stress-related habits can help reverse the condition. Eating healthy and in moderation, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol can often reduce the temporary increase in blood pressure without needing medications.

Using techniques like changes to your diet and lifestyle in combination with medication will help you manage your condition and stay healthy. Regular physical activity can lower high blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg. It’s important to keep exercising to keep blood pressure from rising again.

Regular visits with your doctor are also key to controlling your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is well-controlled, check with your doctor about how often you need to check it. If you’re making any changes in your medications or other treatments, your doctor may recommend you check your blood pressure starting two weeks after treatment changes and a week before your next appointment. Losing even a small amount of weight if you’re overweight or obese can help reduce your blood pressure.

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

Incorrect positioning, a full bladder, or physical activity immediately before a measurement can give an artificially high reading. Keep in mind that you should not use grapefruit juice with a number of other medications, including calcium channel blockers used to treat blood pressure and statin drugs to lower cholesterol. When you get a blood pressure reading, the systolic blood pressure number is on top, and the diastolic blood pressure number is on the bottom. It’s possible to do everything right and still have elevated blood pressure. When that happens, Dr. Weinberg says she’ll usually recommend starting medication.

Home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure, make certain your lifestyle changes are working, and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications. Blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription. Talk to your doctor about home monitoring before you get started. Besides shedding pounds, you generally should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you might be worried about taking medication to bring your numbers down.

If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication. Home blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription. Talk to a health care provider about home monitoring before you get started. If you’re overweight or have obesity, losing even a small amount of weight can help reduce blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you may wonder if medication is necessary to bring the numbers down.