Committing to hypertension treatment can reduce your risk of many of the serious health conditions that are linked to high blood pressure, including stroke and heart disease. Blood pressure levels are determined by the size of your arteries and the amount of blood that your heart pumps through those arteries with each beat. The more blood that is pumped by your heart and the narrower your arteries become, the higher your blood pressure.
Hypertension does not develop overnight. Rather, the condition develops over several years without presenting any symptoms until blood pressure has already risen. Statistically, hypertension does not generally show signs or symptoms until blood pressure levels have already reached dangerous high levels. Those that do experience symptoms may only experience signs such as frequent headaches, shortness of breath and nosebleeds.
Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies for high blood pressure that you can take advantage of before or after you have already developed hypertension. Depending on your blood pressure level, these remedies may be enough to monitor your blood pressure. If not, high blood pressure treatment at home can have a significant impact on your blood pressure levels alongside your blood pressure medication.
Untreated hypertension can lead to serious and even life threatening conditions including:
- Heart disease.
- Heart attack.
There are two types of hypertension. While both types of hypertension show the same results, each type has its own health risk factors. Primary hypertension, the type of high blood pressure that develops over years, does not always have an identifiable cause as there are numerous risk factors for the development of the condition, including:
- Family history.
- Obesity or being overweight.
- A sedentary lifestyle.
- Use of tobacco.
- Poor diet.
- High levels of stress.
- Age, as the risk of high blood pressure increases with age.
Hypertension treatment options may differ for those afflicted with secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension is directly caused by an underlying medical condition such as:
- Kidney disease.
- Thyroid problems.
- Obstructive sleep apnea.
- Adrenal gland tumors.
- Congenital defects in blood vessels.
- Drug use.
- Certain medications.
Tip 1. Lose a Few Extra Pounds
One of the best forms of hypertension treatment is weight loss if you are currently overweight or obese. This is due to the fact that blood pressure is likely to increase as weight increases, increasing your risk of primary hypertension. Additionally, as you gain weight, you will increase your likelihood of developing secondary hypertension due to your increased risk of developing sleep apnea.
Experts say that even losing a small amount of weight, especially around your waistline, can have a significant impact on your blood pressure and overall health. Experts suggest that blood pressure may be reduced with every 2.2 pounds of weight that you shed.
Tip 2. Commit to Regular Exercise
Another great high blood pressure treatment at home that you can begin right away is regular exercise, especially if you currently lead a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, engaging in regular exercise alone may be able to bring your hypertension down to a safe blood pressure range. It is estimated that about 30 minutes of exercise a day can reduce your blood pressure by 5 to 8 mm hg.
There are several exercise routines that can be incredibly beneficial in reducing high blood pressure, including:
- High intensity interval training.
While aerobic exercises are the most important types of exercises in reducing high blood pressure, doctors recommend strength training at least two days a week. Strength training can further impact overall blood pressure levels and help you reduce your high blood pressure.
Tip 3. Eat a Healthy and Low-Sodium Diet
Natural remedies for high blood pressure include a healthy diet that is low in sodium and higher in potassium. Experts recommend a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. To lower your blood pressure, you should work on changing your eating habits and avoid foods that are high in sodium, saturated fat or cholesterol.
Supplements to lower blood pressure, including potassium vitamins, may help to reduce overall blood pressure levels. However, herbs for high blood pressure do not generally have as significant an impact compared to altering your diet and eating foods that are high in potassium. Potassium is important as it has shown to be effective in reducing sodium effects on blood pressure. The best sources of potassium are certain fruits and vegetables, including bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, prunes, spinach, broccoli, potatoes and mushrooms.
Tip 4. Limit the Amount of Alcohol You Drink
You may be able to lower your blood pressure by reducing the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol can be good for your health in moderation. In fact, some types of alcohol, such as red wine, have been shown to be beneficial to your blood pressure levels as one drink (12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor) can reduce your blood pressure by around 4 mm Hg. However, excessive drinking has a detrimental effect on your blood pressure, raising levels by several points. Additionally, alcohol can also interfere with the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
Tip 5. Quit Smoking Cigarettes
An important hypertension treatment is to quit smoking if you are currently a smoker. If you currently smoke cigarettes, you likely have an increased risk for a number of medical conditions, including hypertension and heart disease.
In fact, experts say that your blood pressure increases for a period of time after just one cigarette. By cutting down on the amount of cigarettes you smoke — or quitting altogether — you can significantly reduce your overall blood pressure levels. Statistically, people who quit smoking or have never smoked often have fewer medical conditions and often live longer lives.
Tip 6. Cut Back Your Caffeine Intake
One high blood pressure treatment at home that you can commit to right away is reducing your caffeine intake. It is hypothesized that caffeine may have a detrimental effect on blood pressure levels for those who rarely consume caffeine. However, this effect is not always present and does not generally occur in those who drink coffee regularly.
You can check if your blood pressure is affected by caffeine by checking your blood pressure levels before you consume caffeine and within 30 minutes of its consumption. If your blood pressure increases by a small amount, such as 5 to 10 mm Hg, you may need to monitor your caffeine intake as your body may be sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
Tip 7. Reduce Your Stress Levels
If you would like to commit to hypertension treatment, you can reduce your overall blood pressure levels by reducing your stress. Chronic stress poses a significant risk to primary hypertension and stress can also contribute to overeating or making poor diet choices, thus increasing your risk of developing hypertension further.
There are a number of ways that you can work towards reducing your stress levels, including through routine exercise. If you are unable to eliminate key stressors in your life, you can learn to cope with these stresses in a healthier way by:
- Changing your expectations.
- Avoiding stress triggers, whenever possible.
- Making time to relax and committing to activities that you enjoy.
- Only focusing on the issues that you can control and creating plans to solve them.
If your stress contributes to unhealthy diet choices, it is also important to practice mindfulness, even while under stress. Poor diet and obesity can have a substantial impact on your blood pressure levels and your overall health.