Lowering Blood Pressure

The first step in causing blood pressure to lower often involves making certain lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and becoming more physically active. Quitting smoking also can be a big step. If lifestyle changes alone do not succeed in reducing blood pressure to a healthier level, your doctor may prescribe medication.

Lowering Blood Pressure: An Introduction

Anyone can develop high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). In fact, one in three Americans (more than 65 million people) has high blood pressure. Unfortunately, in more than 90 percent of cases, the causes of high blood pressure are not known. But hypertension research scientists have found that certain lifestyle changes can help in lowering blood pressure. For those people who cannot achieve a normal blood pressure level through lifestyle changes, medication can be prescribed.
 
By making blood pressure lower, people can reduce the long-term effects of this condition, including:
 
 

Lifestyle Changes That Can Lower Blood Pressure

Changing your lifestyle is the first step in high blood pressure treatment. Lifestyle changes certainly help when lowering blood pressure, but they usually help improve a person's quality of life as well. It may take three to six months before your healthcare provider sees the full benefit of lifestyle changes on your condition. Some of these changes may include:
 
  • Losing weight
  • Becoming more physically active
  • Reducing salt intake
  • Consuming less alcohol
  • Following a diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables while reducing fats and cholesterol.
     
Other lifestyle factors that may influence blood pressure and that should be reduced or stopped completely include smoking and prolonged stress (see Smoking and High Blood Pressure or Stress and High Blood Pressure).
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Lowering High Blood Pressure

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