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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

10 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure Without Medication

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Having high blood pressure, or the condition known as hypertension has become a chronic issue in the U.S. According to the CDC, a staggering one in three Americans have high blood pressure. That's 67 million Americans who have to work everyday to control and manage their high blood pressure. Hypertension is often refereed to as a "silent killer" because if left untreated it could serve as a precursor to a myriad of serious health conditions. The U.S department of Human and Health Services lists hypertension as a major risk factor for patients with stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure and kidney damage.

In order to treat hypertension, often times patients have to make lifestyle changes. It may not be easy but hypertension can actually be reversed without medication. Mayo-clinic lists 10 ways you can control your high blood pressure, without medication:
  1. Lose Extra Pounds: Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds can help significantly reduce your blood pressure. The more weight you lose the lower your blood pressure. 
  2. Exercise Regularly: Regular physical activity, of at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week can lower your blood pressure within just a few weeks. 
  3. Eat a Healthy Diet: Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products that are low in cholesterol and saturated fats can not only reduce high blood pressure but also play an important role in vitality. 
  4. Reduce Sodium In Your Diet: Even a small reduction in sodium can reduce blood pressure. Try to limit sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams a day. 
  5. Limit the Alcohol You Drink: It's important to mention there is a VERY fine line between drinking a little and too much alcohol. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure. But that effect is immediately lost when you drink too much alcohol. 
  6. Avoid Tobacco Products and Secondhand smoke: In addition to all the other dangers of smoking,  tobacco can raise your blood pressure. Smoking throughout the day  means that your blood pressure may remain consistently high. 
  7. Cut Back On The Caffeine: Drinking caffeinated beverages can cause a spike in your blood pressure. Try decaffeinated coffee and tea as healthier alternatives.
  8. Reduce Your Stress: Stress or anxiety can temporarily increase blood pressure. Take some time to find out what causes you stress and find ways to eliminate or reduce it.  
  9. Monitor Your Blood Pressure At Home and Make Regular Doctor's Appointments: Regular doctor visits are likely when one is diagnosed with hypertension. In addition to visits, it's important to monitor your number at home. Knowing what your levels are will allow you to better understand when and how to you treat your hypertension.  
  10. Get Support From Family and Friends: Supportive family and friends can help improve your health. Your own loved ones can offer words of encouragement, drive you to your appointments or even start a fitness program with you.