A Answers (5)
National Kidney Foundation answeredHigh blood pressure is a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. Controlling high blood pressure by losing excess weight, exercising, not smoking, cutting back on salt intake and taking high blood pressure medications reduces the risk of these complications. Even borderline high blood pressure, or pre-hypertension, should be taken seriously, as it can inflict kidney damage.
Relying on drugs alone to lower your blood pressure is like saving up for a new car by eliminating a coffee a day. It works, but there's a better way. Following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which is high in healthy amounts of whole grains, produce, poultry, fish, and nuts (and low in fats, red meat, and sweets), and taking a daily walk can go a long way to keeping blood pressure under control.
There are many things that you can do to bring your blood pressure down to a more reasonable range, the easiest, yet hardest for most people, being changing your diet. Even losing just 10 pounds can make a sizable impact on your blood pressure, so get losing! The more you lose, the better you'll control it. Two other things that go hand in hand with weight loss are exercise and a healthy diet low in salt, which can also have a positive impact on your blood pressure. Cutting back on alcohol can be helpful, too, especially if it is in excess of one alcoholic beverage per night. In an ideal world, these things alone could control the majority of patients' blood pressures. However, this is not the case, and many people require medications to control it at an ideal level.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Intermountain Healthcare answeredLearn and remember the "MAWDS" acronym to help manage your risk factors and your blood pressure (BP):
Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
- Medication: Take your medication. Taking prescribed medications is extremely important. Make sure you understand how and when to take your medications. Report any side effects to your doctor. Do not stop taking your medications even if you feel fine. Remember that most people with high blood pressure do not have symptoms. And even if your blood pressure has reached its goal, it may not stay there without your medications.
- Activity: Stay active every day. Staying active is one of the most important things you can do to control your blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, people who are active have up to a 50% decreased risk of developing high blood pressure. Most experts agree that you should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise almost every day.
- Weight: Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Losing even a small amount of weight can significantly decrease this risk. The best ways to reach and maintain a healthy weight are to be active and follow a healthy eating plan.
- Diet: Eat a healthy diet. Studies have shown that following a healthy eating plan -- such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet -- lowers your systolic blood pressure by an average of 11 points and your diastolic BP by an average of 5 points. One study showed you may be able to reduce your blood pressure after just two weeks! This diet can also help prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
- Smoking and stress: Stop smoking and manage stress. Tobacco use harms your arteries and increases your blood pressure. Chronic stress can also take a toll on your body. Quitting smoking and learning to manage stress can lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health.
Controlling your blood pressure is very important. Lifestyle changes that can help include:
- Getting 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Don't smoke.
Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.
- Eat a diet consisting of plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lentils. Try to avoid fatty or processed foods. Avoid excessive salt consumption.