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Lower High Blood Pressure

Often known as the "silent" disease, high blood pressure, or hypertension shows no symptoms for years. High blood pressure damages blood vessels and increases the risk for stroke, kidney disease and heart disease, and can also cause hardening of the arteries. There are both prescription and natural ways to lower your blood pressure:

  • Medications: Prescription medication plays a very important part in treatment of those diagnosed with hypertension. More than one medication is often prescribed and the common types of antihypertensive medications include diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and alpha blockers. Diuretics are pills that help rid the body of excess sodium and fluid, while beta blockers work to block effects of adrenaline, and ACE inhibitors prevent blood vessels from constricting from the chemical angiotensin II. Calcium channel blockers work to block calcium from entering cells, preventing blood vessels from constricting and Alpha blockers help keep blood vessels open.
  • Lifestyle: It is important to keep stress at a manageable level, as stress causes blood pressure to rise temporarily. Smoking and drinking my relax a person for a short period of time but in the long run it puts added stress on the body. Smoking and excess intake of alcohol increases blood pressure, so it advisable to quit them.
  • Diet: A special diet known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH helps to lower blood pressure. This diet includes eight to ten servings of fruit and vegetables, seven to eight servings of whole grains, two to three servings of low-fat dairy products and less than two servings of meat per day. DASH lowers blood pressure as this diet is low in fat and cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids also help to lower blood pressure.
  • Exercise and Weight Loss: Physical activity helps to reduce hypertension and also helps to lose weight which in turn reduces stress. Half an hour to an hour of physical activity can help immensely to reduce blood pressure.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Deep breathing and meditation are helpful in relaxing the body which in turn helps reduce blood pressure.