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Know Everything About Hypertension: Tips to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 13 July 2022, Updated on - 20 July 2022

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Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a long-term condition in which the pressure exerted against the blood vessels walls is consistently higher than normal. To understand this condition better, blood pressure can be measured anytime during the day by a general practitioner or with the help of a digital blood pressure monitoring device for automated readings and a sphygmomanometer for manual readings.

Blood pressure is expressed between two numbers viz. systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the first measurement and this measures the pressure on the arteries against the heart muscles. Diastolic is the second measurement and this measures the pressure of the heart muscles between two consecutive beats. The blood pressure range can be measured by taking a person’s blood pressure at least twice in quick succession to rule out errors in the device or the person’s body state. Medically, an ideal blood pressure reading of a healthy individual male or female is 120/80 mm hg.

 

Causes of Hypertension

High blood pressure is infamously known as the silent killer because it occurs over a while, sometimes without any symptoms. However, research is suggestive that blood pressure usually occurs either due to genetics or underlying medical conditions such as the following-

  • Kidney diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Thyroid
  • Sleep apnea

 

Risk Factors of Hypertension

  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Genetics

 

Symptoms of Hypertension

  • Severe headache
  • Vision problems
  • Nose bleeds
  • Fatigue/dizziness
  • Chest pain with palpitation 
  • Anger
  • Restlessness

 

Tips to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

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Cut back on salt and add potassium

It is well known that high sodium can increase blood pressure. To cut back, doctors recommend patients to avoid adding extra salt to foods for satisfying taste buds. In addition, avoid foods that are high in salts, such as potato chips and bacon. Also, cut back on prepared foods such as ready-to-eat microwavable meals, canned soups and meats. Instead, high-potassium foods, such as bananas and sweet potatoes, can be substituted to offset the effects of sodium to help control and keep the pressure down.

 

Limit foods rich in sugars and carbohydrates

Studies are suggestive that restricting foods rich in high sugars and carbohydrates can help you lose weight and also lower your blood pressure. Sugar, especially fructose present in processed and high sugar foods can similarly increase blood pressure levels like salt. According to a review conducted in 2014, the trials suggested that sugar increased blood pressure by 5.6mm hg diastolic and 6.9 mm hg systolic.

A 2020 study that compared various popular diets found that people who had more weight or were obese were given a low-fat diet that lowered their diastolic blood pressure by an average of about 5 mm Hg and their systolic blood pressure by 3 mm Hg after 6 months. To reap maximum benefits add more proteins to your diet than sugar or unhealthy fats to see a visible reduction in blood pressure levels.

 

Quit smoking

Did you know that each cigarette a person smokes has an immediate effect on increasing blood pressure? However, the good news is that quitting helps blood pressure return to normal, regardless of a person’s age or smoking history. Hence, if you smoke you are highly recommended to join smoking cessation classes to get rid of the habit as soon as possible.

 

Reduce stress

Research suggests that stress hormones constrict blood vessels and may lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure. Furthermore, stress can lead to unhealthy habits, such as overeating or poor sleep, which can also increase blood pressure. Daily meditation, yoga, deep breathing sessions, and regular exercise can help control stress.

 

Limit alcohol intake

Three or more drinks in one day can temporarily increase blood pressure. For best results, moderate alcohol consumption is two drinks a day for men younger than 65, one drink a day for men aged 65 and older, and one drink a day for women of any age. This will not only keep blood pressure issues in control but will also help in keeping many diseases at bay!

 

Get regular exercise

Exercise is a great way for not only strengthening your entire body but also your heart. A strong heart can work more efficiently to pump blood, which can impact high blood pressure levels. Patients looking to prevent hypertension or reduce elevated blood pressure levels should aim to exercise 4 times per week for 30 to 60 minutes. Activities should be of moderate intensity and can include walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming. Studies show that higher intensity exercise is not more effective for the prevention or reduction of hypertension in comparison to moderate intensity. Hence, don’t overdo cardio exercises stick with moderate-intensity exercises such as brisk walking, swimming, etc.

 

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Eat or consume garlic water

One way of consuming garlic is by infusing it in water. Soak garlic cloves and drink the water throughout the day. Garlic water is a natural way to regulate blood pressure as it stimulates the production of nitric oxide. This is a gas with a strong vasodilation effect, which helps blood circulation and decreases pressure on the heart. In addition, eating slices of raw garlic is also great for maintaining cardiovascular health, since it has incredible antioxidant properties that protect the blood vessels. 

 

Lose 5 kgs or 10 pounds

Did you know weight loss can help decrease the number of doses of medications that are needed to control high blood pressure? Sometimes, reducing 5 kgs or approximately 10 pounds can allow us to take control of blood pressure entirely. This can be a great motivating factor since most patients are very excited to simplify their medication regimen and avoid medicinal side effects.

 

Switch to DASH diet

Studies suggest the DASH diet is widely recommended for the prevention and treatment of hypertension in adults. This diet involves the reduction of saturated fat and cholesterol and emphasises the importance of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products in daily meals. Patients should aim to incorporate dietary and soluble fiber, whole grains, and protein from plant sources into every meal. Patients who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure may be advised to additionally reduce their potassium intake, as increased potassium levels contribute to high blood pressure.

 

Consume valerian tea

Valerian roots have excellent calming and relaxing properties that help improve blood circulation. In addition, valerian tea acts directly on the GABA neurotransmitter, which can help those who suffer from frequent anxiety attacks and as a result, have high blood pressure. 

 

Sip hibiscus tea

Hibiscus is a plant that is very popular amongst those who want to lose weight, however, this plant can also help reduce blood pressure effectively. This is because of its rich composition in anthocyanins, which are flavonoids that help regulate blood pressure. Hence, one must consider sipping hibiscus tea for not only blood pressure, but also as a health-promoting beverage.

 

Cut back on caffeine

It is not an unknown fact that caffeine raises blood pressure, however, temporarily. Hence, it should be avoided if you are prone to a spike in blood pressure levels suddenly. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. One should try decaffeinated coffee or cut back caffeine completely to keep blood pressure in control.

 

Never miss your medications

You may face serious complications if you have missed your blood pressure medications. Hence, you are recommended to keep taking medications (as per the doctor's advice) along with trying out home remedies.

 

When to See a Doctor?

  • When you have a condition known as a hypertensive crisis- when your blood pressure reading is 180/120 mm hg or higher. Consult a doctor without any further delay. 
  • Sudden severe headache for 1-2 days
  • Nosebleeds and dizziness
  • Chest pain with difficulty in breathing
  • Extreme restlessness

 

Takeaway  

Hypertension (hypertension) can happen due to faulty eating habits, leading stressful lifestyles and genetics. However, when left untreated high blood pressure can cause kidney damage, stroke and heart attack. Hence, doctors recommend not ignoring blood pressure issues, especially high blood pressure. In case you are facing challenges despite taking medicines. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor.

 

Call Now to Consult the Best Hypertension Specialist

 

- Authored by Dr. Tulika Roy

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