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How can I lower my blood pressure if I have diabetes?

First of all, diet and exercise, play an important role in blood pressure management. Eat healthy and take a walk. If you have a dog, take him/her on longer walks: it will benefit both of you. If not, see if you can find a walking partner.

If you are prescribed blood pressure medication, please take as prescribed.

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To lower your blood pressure if you have diabetes, you should:

- Eat more vegetables and fruits! Eating more vegetables and fruits, along with low-fat dairy foods, whole grains, fish, poultry, and nuts, helps lower blood pressure.

- Reduce the amount of sodium (salt) you eat. Check food labels for sodium content. Most people should limit their sodium intake to 2,400 mg each day.

- Lose weight by eating less and being more active than you are now. Walking briskly for 20 minutes burns about 100 calories.

- Watch your alcohol consumption. Drinking more than 1 to 2 drinks per day is not helpful and may actually raise your blood pressure. Moderate amounts of alcohol reduce your risk of heart disease, perhaps by raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels. One drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or a shot (1 and 1/2 ounces) of distilled spirits.

- Quit smoking.

- Take your blood pressure pills as prescribed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.