Blood Pressure Home > Controlling High Blood Pressure

For many people, high blood pressure control begins with making various lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes that may help people with high blood pressure include losing weight, drinking less alcohol, and reducing salt intake. When lifestyle changes alone are not enough, blood pressure medication may be necessary.

High Blood Pressure Control: An Introduction

Anyone can develop hypertension (commonly known as high blood pressure). More than 65 million Americans have 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 certain lifestyle changes can assist in controlling high blood pressure. For those people who are not managing high blood pressure through lifestyle changes alone, blood pressure medication may be necessary.
Controlling high blood pressure can help people reduce the long-term negative effects of high blood pressure, including:

Controlling High Blood Pressure With Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes are the first step in managing high blood pressure. Not only do lifestyle changes help with blood pressure control, but they often help improve a person's quality of life as well. It may take three to six months before your doctor sees the full benefit of lifestyle changes on your condition. Some of these lifestyle changes may include:
  • Weight loss
  • Reducing your salt intake
  • Becoming more physically active
  • Drinking 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 long-term stress (see Smoking and High Blood Pressure or Stress and High Blood Pressure).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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