Lowering Your Blood Pressure without Medication

Posted: Apr 21 in Health And Wellness by

Lowering Your Blood Pressure without Medication

Increased weight is associated with an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension). Blood pressure is the force of the heart pumping blood through the arteries. If this pressure rises and remains high, it may lead to other serious problems, including heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.

While taking prescribed blood pressure medications is one of the more common ways to treat high blood pressure, there are dietary and lifestyle habits that you can learn which may help lower your blood pressure, or decrease your risk of developing hypertension. If practiced in conjunction with the other aspects of your medical weight loss program in Denver, these healthy habits can help you reach your weight loss goals and improve serious health conditions like hypertension.

Dietary Habits for Lowering Blood Pressure

  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine. Caffeine and other stimulants may block the hormones which normally keep your arteries widened and flexible, leading to increased blood pressure. If you find that you can’t eliminate caffeine from your diet completely, try limiting the amount you drink each day to no more than 200 milligrams, which is the amount of caffeine generally found in two 12oz. cups of coffee.
  • Avoid foods high in sodium. Excess sodium can cause your body to retain fluids, which leads to high fluid volume in the blood and, as a result, heightened blood pressure due to the heart having to work harder to move the excess volume. If you have hypertension, lowering the amount of sodium in your diet to below 1,500 milligrams per day may improve your blood pressure. If you don’t have hypertension, staying below 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day can help reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Increase your amount of daily fiber. Fiber—found in leafy green veggies, many fruits, beans, whole grains and nuts—helps cleanse your systems and controls blood pressure through digestive regularity. In general, women need about 25 grams of fiber per day, and men need about 38 grams.

Lifestyle Habits for Lowering Blood Pressure

  • Exercise daily. Developing a regular exercise routine can help improve your blood pressure levels. Even mild low-impact activities like walking, swimming or biking for thirty minutes three to five times a week can provide health benefits.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking may increase your blood pressure, heighten your risk of developing blood clots and damage your blood vessels and arteries. Quitting smoking has many health benefits besides improving blood pressure levels. Quitting may reduce your risk of developing diseases, such as lung cancer, heart disease and gum disease.
  • Relax. Being stressed out can lead to high blood pressure. Whenever you’re feeling stressed, try practicing relaxation techniques to help you manage your stress and reduce the risk of stress increasing your blood pressure levels. Relaxation techniques may include yoga, meditation, listening to relaxing music, breathing exercises or taking a warm bath.

Comments

4 Responses to “Lowering Your Blood Pressure without Medication”
  • Dawn Cruickshank says:

    I really need information of LOW blood pressure and can’t find anything. Are you able to assist with what hormone is released that keeps the arteries widened?

  • Robert Schwenk says:

    I had very high blood pressure and began a regimen of walking and running on a treadmill daily. In addition I radically changed my diet to focus on nutritious foods, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and some lean meat. I eliminated processed foods and stopped using salt. I went from 250 pounds to 195 and took 10 inches off my waist. My BP is down, but I still have stubborn belly fat. Any suggestions?

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Hi Robert – congratulations! Remember, there is a DASH diet that has been studied and found to reduce blood pressure (http://dashdiet.org/what_is_the_dash_diet.asp). However, if your weight is contributing to health problems, it would be a good idea to visit with a board certified obesity medicine physician. If I am not in your area (we are in Greenwood Village, Colorado, just south of Denver, CO), visit http://abom.org/ to find a board-certified obesity medicine physician nearer to you.

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