How to Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the most common health conditions in the world. Most people diagnosed with high blood pressure (HBP) need to be treated with medications (unless it can be controlled by lifestyle changes). This article will present some easy steps you can use to lower your blood pressure without medications.
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Diet Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 11 Cook your own (or buy) low-salt or unsalted foods. Avoid excessive table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl). You definitely need a small amount of salt (both sodium, Na, and chloride, Cl) in your diet. Sodium helps regulate electrical processes in the nerves and muscles but excess can cause you to retain excess fluids (edema), which makes your blood have more fluid volume. When your blood has more volume, your heart has to pump harder to move that excess volume throughout the body. This causes the blood pressure to go up. (Whether food tastes salty is not the point; so watering down soup will not help unless you also pour off 1/2, or all the water.) Remember, it's not just the salt that you put on your food while cooking or at the table, it's also the amount of sodium that's in the prepared foods that you buy. Several processed, packaged foods contain sodium benzoate as a preservative. You should become "label conscious" and buy "low salt/sodium" or "unsalted" foods and cook without salt. However, be aware that excessive use of products that replace sodium with potassium, K, just to make a "low sodium" claim can be harmful. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 22 Avoid ordinary processed-foods with salt and other additives, prepared, canned and bottled foods such as meats, pickles, olives, soups, chili and such, bacon, ham, sausage, bakery products and mono-sodium glutamate (MSG), and meats with added water (will have higher/added sodium content). Also avoid condiments such as prepared mustard, salsa, chile sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce and other sauces. Many American diets include up to 5,000 milligrams (5g) of sodium daily which nearly all medical professionals consider extremely unhealthy. Try to get to below 2 g (2,000 mg.) per day. Medical professionals often prescribe "low sodium diets" that consist of between 1100 and 1500 mg. daily. The American Heart Association advises that the human body actually can function with eating as little as 200 mg. of sodium daily. To get "good" flavor, there are multiple brands of salt-free seasonings that are zesty combinations of ground, powdered spices and herbs. Plus, fake-salt products are not just low or "lite" salt products -- but are salt substitutes (such as potassium based: potassium-chloride, for example), and use that sparingly, as the flavor is different from sodium salt. 3 Avoid using excessive amounts fake salt/salt substitute (usually potassium chloride, KCl). Like sodium, potassium is an electrolyte required in the diet in small amounts for your nerves and the heart to function. Caution: Excessive potassium in the blood (hyperkalemia) is a common cause of life-threatening heart rhythm changes (cardiac arrhythmias). It can cause a heart attack called ventricular fibrillation where the lower parts of your heart beat so fast or flutter so that it cannot pump blood. An extremely high amount of potassium in your blood can also make your heart suddenly stop beating at all. Symptoms of dangerously high potassium in the your blood supply (hyperkalemia) can include: Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that can be life threatening or either too slow or too rapid heart rate, feeling very weak, heart failure. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 34 Eat a moderate, lean diet and avoid stimulants. Avoid caffeine, much chocolate, sugar, white carbs (although pastas are not as quick to change to sugar as breads, pastries and cakes are), candy, sugary drinks and excessive dietary fats. Try eating a more plant based diet, instead of so much of meats, milk products and eggs. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 45 Use less caffeine. Stopping coffee and other caffeinated beverage consumption will lower blood pressure. But, even one or two cups of coffee can raise blood pressure into the unhealthy Stage 1 level. If a person already has Stage 1 Hypertension, the coffee usually complicates the problem further because caffeine is a nervous system stimulant. Thus, agitated nerves cause the heart to beat faster, which raises the blood pressure. If you are a person who drinks a lot of caffeine (more than 4 caffeinated drinks/day), you may need to taper yourself off caffeine to prevent withdrawal symptoms such as headaches. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 56 Increase fiber. Fiber cleanses your system and helps control your blood pressure by having digestive regularity. Most vegetables are high in fiber, especially those with leafy greens. Many fruits, nuts, and legumes (beans and peas) are also rich in fiber, as are whole-grain products. Advertisement Edit Method Two of Six:
Natural remedies Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 61 Try taking some natural remedies. Check with your doctor to see whether a natural remedy may be a safe alternative to medication for you. Many natural remedies have scientific evidence to show that they can lower high blood pressure. The top supplements for lowering blood pressure are coenzyme Q10, omega-3, fish oil, garlic, curcumin (from turmeric), ginger, cayenne, olive oil, nuts, black cohosh, hawthorn, magnesium and chromium. Take 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar 3 times a day. Dilute it with about a cup of water. This works quickly and effectively. Use garlic tablets or eat 1 raw clove of garlic a day. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 72 Take B vitamins. Vitamins like B12, 6 and 9 can help lower homocysteine levels in the blood that can lead to heart problems. You can also find these nutrients in the daily foods you eat. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 83 Eat foods rich in omega-3 and minerals such as potassium: tomatoes/tomato juice, potatoes, beans, onions, oranges, fruits and dried fruits. Consume fish twice a week or more. Fish is high in protein, and many types of fish, including salmon, mackerel, and herring, also have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which lower fats called triglycerides and promotes overall heart health. Advertisement Edit Method Three of Six:
Minimizing stimulants Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 91 Stop smoking. Stimulants in cigarette smoke, like nicotine, can affect blood pressure. If you stop smoking, you can not only lower your blood pressure, but you can also help your heart to become more healthy and reduce your chances for other health-related diseases including lung cancer. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 102 Lose weight. Carrying around extra weight causes your heart to work harder all the time and this increases your blood pressure. Imagine having an extra 20 pounds (9 kg) on your body. That would be the same thing as carrying around a 20 pound (9 kg) bag of dog food. Try walking around the block while carrying this bag of dog food. Soon, your heart will begin to beat faster and harder, you'll become out of breath, and you'll feel very tired. Eventually, you'll get to the point where you can't wait to put that bag down. Imagine how hard it is for your body to carry around that extra weight all the time! Unfortunately, many of us are carrying around a lot more than just an extra 20 pounds (9 kg). By losing this extra weight, your heart won't have to beat as hard and you'll lower your blood pressure. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 113 Avoid drugs and alcohol. Excessive use of drugs and alcohol can damage many organs in the body including the liver and the kidneys. When these organs are damaged, they can cause a build-up of fluids in the body. As mentioned above, extra fluids make the heart beat harder and this increases the blood pressure. Many drugs are stimulants. These cause the heart to beat faster. The faster the heart beats, the higher the blood pressure goes. By cutting out drugs and alcohol you'll succeed in reducing your blood pressure. Some over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen for headache cause the body to retain sodium. So, people using such products that retain sodium more than the body naturally would -- have even higher stresses on their systems. Advertisement Edit Method Four of Six:
Relaxation Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 121 Slow down to help your body relax from stress. Many people have a temporary rise in blood pressure when under stress. If you have high blood pressure because you are overweight or have a family history of hypertension, then stress raises it that much more. This is because your adrenal gland releases stress hormones which tend to cause your cardiovascular system to overwork. If you are under chronic stress where you produce that stress hormone every day, then your cardiovascular system will naturally go into a state where it is overworking. This occurs due to the fact that the stress hormone increases your pulse, respiration and heart rate, as in preparation for "flight or fight". Your body thinks you are in need of fighting or running and naturally gets your body ready for either one. After prolonged stress, imagine what kind of work the heart is placed under. So try some relaxation techniques: Try taking a long walk to take the edge off a stressful day long before bedtime. Make time for decompressing each and every day. Set aside around 30 minutes before bed to finish the day’s must-do tasks (10 minutes). Do the personal hygiene things (10 minutes). Create calm-down time; try deep breathing and/or meditation (10 minutes). Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 132 Meditate. Simply observing and slowing the respiration rate produces a significant reduction in blood pressure. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 143 Breathe deeply and slowly but not so slow as to cause discomfort, and listen to music if you like, while relaxing to lower blood pressure. Do this until you fall asleep for instance or in break time for 5, 10 or 15 minutes occasionally throughout the day. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 154 Take a soaking hot bath or hot shower for 15 minutes which can actually suppress one's blood pressure for several hours. Taking a hot bath just prior to bedtime can help the body retain lower blood pressure for hours or even the entire night. Advertisement Edit Method Five of Six:
Exercise Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 161 Exercise. Walk every day for at least 20 to 30 minutes at a moderate speed of about 3.0 mph (4.8 km/h). Study after study has demonstrated that the mere act of walking has a suppression effect on hypertension. Can't walk outside? Used treadmills can be found at all sorts of online sites for as little as $250. The advantage: walk even as it rains or snows outside. You can even walk in your pajamas without the neighbors seeing you! But do yourself a favor. Walk every day without fail. 30 minutes is all it takes, daily. Advertisement Edit Method Six of Six:
Monitoring Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication Step 171 Monitor your blood pressure. You can monitor your blood pressure by using a sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope. Know the different ranges in reading your blood pressure. What is normal varies for children and older people. This will keep you on track to lower your blood pressure according to the levels listed below: Normal blood pressure - 120/80 and below Pre-Hypertension blood pressure - 120-139/80-89 First stage hypertension - 140-159/90-99 Second stage hypertension -: 160/100 and above