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How to Lower Blood Pressure Fast

How to Lower Blood Pressure Fast

Hypertension, which is commonly referred to as high blood pressure, can put a person at a risk of developing serious medical conditions such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or kidney failure. Thus, knowing how to lower blood pressure fast can certainly prove beneficial in averting such health problems. Here are some self-care measures that may help treat hypertension.
Parul Solanki
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Did You Know?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 68 million people in the US suffer from hypertension, and less than half of the affected individuals have their condition under control.

Hypertension is often called a silent killer. A majority of affected individuals may not even know that they suffer from this condition. A person is diagnosed with hypertension when he/she has persistently elevated blood pressure levels. Though drug therapy is required for treating this ailment, anyone who has been diagnosed with hypertension must make consistent efforts to decrease blood pressure naturally. The affected individuals would certainly benefit if they know how to lower blood pressure. This will allow them to deal with this medical condition before it becomes life-threatening in nature.
Blood Pressure Levels
The term 'blood pressure' refers to the pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessels. Under normal circumstances, blood pressure should be lower than 120/80 mm Hg. In adults, a blood pressure reading that ranges between 120/80 mm Hg and 139/89 mm Hg is indicative of prehypertension. A person is diagnosed with hypertension, when the blood pressure reading is higher than 140/90 mm Hg. If hypertension is not associated with an underlying cause, it is referred to as essential or primary hypertension. When medical conditions such as diabetes, hormonal disorders, kidney disease, or abnormalities of the aorta are associated with elevated blood pressure, the affected individual is said to suffer from secondary hypertension.
Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Once a person is diagnosed with this condition, it becomes essential to monitor blood pressure on a regular basis. While taking antihypertensive drugs such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, or beta blockers, maybe an integral part of the treatment, the importance of lifestyle modifications cannot be stressed enough. Here are some lifestyle-related changes that may prove beneficial in treating high blood pressure.
DASH Diet
Poor dietary habits are one of the most common contributory factors for various ailments. For individuals who suffer from hypertension, following a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet can certainly help to lower blood pressure.
☞ Excessive intake of salt can raise blood pressure. High sodium levels in blood may cause water retention which in turn may lead to increased blood volume. An increase in the blood volume is likely to raise blood pressure. Reduction of salt intake is one of the most essential aspects of this diet. According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the daily intake of sodium should not go beyond 2,300 mg. In some cases, the daily intake may have to be brought down to 1,500 mg.
☞ Lean meat, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products, legumes, whole grains, unsalted nuts, fruits, and vegetables can be included in this diet.
☞ There's also a need to keep a tab on the levels of cholesterol. So, cut down on the intake of saturated fat and trans fat. Refrain from excessive consumption of processed food. Switch to food items that contain omega-3 fatty acid. This will help reduce the cholesterol levels in the body. Cut down on the intake of sugar.
☞ Consumption of food items that are rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium will also prove beneficial. Raisins, sardines, figs, and apricots are some of the food items that are rich in potassium. Consuming potassium-rich food will balance out the excess sodium levels in the body. Consumption of calcium-rich food will also allow the body to process the potassium better.
☞ Since alcohol can interfere with the working of antihypertensive drugs, it would be best to cut down on the intake of alcohol.
Relaxation
Stress is one of the major contributory factors for many ailments. Whenever we are faced with a stressful situation, hormones called adrenaline and cortisol are released into the blood. This causes the blood vessels to constrict, thereby raising the blood pressure. The blood pressure returns to normal once the stressful event ends. It is believed that chronic stress can put a person at a risk of developing hypertension. Thus, efforts must be made to tackle stress. This can be achieved by following relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation. Listening to soothing music and practicing deep breathing exercises may also help.
Stay Hydrated
Increase your intake of water. Make sure that you have at least eight glasses of water every day. This will not only keep your body hydrated, but also help to get rid of the excess salt and harmful toxins. It may also help maintain the electrolyte balance. It would be best to cut down on the intake of caffeinated drinks as these have a dehydrating effect on the body.
Exercise
Obesity is one of the most common risk factors for high blood pressure. If a person is obese, his/her heart has to work harder in order to pump blood. This may give rise to hypertension. The incidence of weight gain is higher in people who don't follow a balanced diet and an exercise regimen. It is believed that performing moderate-intensity exercises on a regular basis may help lower the blood pressure. It is believed that following an exercise regimen may prevent plaque buildup in the arteries to some extent.
Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol can constrict the blood vessels, thereby reducing the blood flow to the heart. If blood-alcohol concentration is high, a person is more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Thus, it would be best to quit smoking and cut down on the intake of alcohol.
While following the aforementioned measures might prove beneficial in lowering your blood pressure, make sure that you take the antihypertensive drugs that have been prescribed by your doctor. If high blood pressure is caused by an underlying medical condition, treating that condition will help in lowering blood pressure as well.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.