Tuesday, 25 October 2016

How To Reduce High Blood Pressure

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Reduce High Blood Pressure:

Based on your diagnosis, health care providers develop treatment plans for high blood pressure that include lifelong lifestyle changes and medicines to control high blood pressure; lifestyle changes such as weight loss can be highly effective in treating high blood pressure.


Treatment Plans

Health care providers work with you to develop a treatment plan based on whether you were diagnosed with primary or secondary high blood pressure and if there is a suspected or known cause. Treatment plans may evolve until blood pressure control is achieved.

If your health care provider diagnoses you with secondary high blood pressure, he or she will work to treat the other condition or change the medicine suspected of causing your high blood pressure. If high blood pressure persists or is first diagnosed as primary high blood pressure, your treatment plan will include lifestyle changes. When lifestyle changes alone do not control or lower blood pressure, your health care provider may change or update your treatment plan by prescribing medicines to treat the disease. Health care providers prescribe children and teens medicines at special doses that are safe and effective in children.

If your health care provider prescribes medicines as a part of your treatment plan, keep up your healthy lifestyle habits. The combination of the medicines and the healthy lifestyle habits helps control and lower your high blood pressure.

Some people develop “resistant” or uncontrolled high blood pressure. This can happen when the medications they are taking do not work well for them or another medical condition is leading to uncontrolled blood pressure. Health care providers treat resistant or uncontrolled high blood pressure with an intensive treatment plan that can include a different set of blood pressure medications or other special treatments.

To achieve the best control of your blood pressure, follow your treatment plan and take all medications as prescribed. Following your prescribed treatment plan is important because it can prevent or delay complications that high blood pressure can cause and can lower your risk for other related problems.


Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you control high blood pressure. These habits include:

Healthy eating
Being physically active
Maintaining a healthy weight
Limiting alcohol intake
Managing and coping with stress
To help make lifelong lifestyle changes, try making one healthy lifestyle change at a time and add another change when you feel that you have successfully adopted the earlier changes. When you practice several healthy lifestyle habits, you are more likely to lower your blood pressure and maintain normal blood pressure readings.


Healthy Eating

To help treat high blood pressure, health care providers recommend that you limit sodium and salt intake, increase potassium, and eat foods that are heart healthy.

Limiting Sodium and Salt

A low-sodium diet can help you manage your blood pressure. You should try to limit the amount of sodium that you eat. This means choosing and preparing foods that are lower in salt and sodium. Try to use low-sodium and “no added salt” foods and seasonings at the table or while cooking. Food labels tell you what you need to know about choosing foods that are lower in sodium. Try to eat no more than 2,300 mg sodium a day. If you have high blood pressure, you may need to restrict your sodium intake even more.

Your health care provider may recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan if you have high blood pressure. The DASH eating plan focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that are heart healthy and low in fat, cholesterol, and salt.

The DASH eating plan is a good heart-healthy eating plan, even for those who don’t have high blood pressure. Read more about the DASH eating plan.

Heart-Healthy Eating

Your health care provider also may recommend heart-healthy eating, which should include:

Whole grains
Fruits, such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears, and prunes
Vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and carrots
Legumes, such as kidney beans, lentils, chick peas, black-eyed peas, and lima beans
Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and trout, about twice a week
When following a heart-healthy diet, you should avoid eating:

A lot of red meat
Palm and coconut oils
Sugary foods and beverages
In the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-sponsored Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, which studied Hispanics living in the United States, Cubans ate more sodium and Mexicans ate less sodium than other Hispanic groups in the study. All Hispanic Americans should follow these healthy eating recommendations even when cooking traditional Latino dishes. Try some of these popular Hispanic American heart-healthy recipes.


Being Physically Active

Routine physical activity can lower high blood pressure and reduce your risk for other health problems. Talk with your health care provider before you start a new exercise plan. Ask him or her how much and what kinds of physical activity are safe for you.

Everyone should try to participate in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least 2 hours and 30 minutes per week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise for 1 hour and 15 minutes per week. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, is any exercise in which your heart beats harder and you use more oxygen than usual. The more active you are, the more you will benefit. Participate in aerobic exercise for at least 10 minutes at a time, spread throughout the week.

Read more about physical activity:

Physical Activity and Your Heart
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight can help you control high blood pressure and reduce your risk for other health problems. If you’re overweight or obese, try to lose weight. A loss of just 3 to 5 percent can lower your risk for health problems. Greater amounts of weight loss can improve blood pressure readings, lower LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol. However, research shows that no matter your weight, it is important to control high blood pressure to maintain good health.

A useful measure of overweight and obesity is body mass index (BMI). BMI measures your weight in relation to your height. To figure out your BMI, check out NHLBI’s online BMI calculator or talk to your health care provider.

A BMI:

Below 18.5 is a sign that you are underweight.
Between 18.5 and 24.9 is in the healthy range.
Between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
Of 30 or more is considered obese.
A general goal to aim for is a BMI below 25. Your health care provider can help you set an appropriate BMI goal.

Measuring waist circumference helps screen for possible health risks. If most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This risk may be high with a waist size that is greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men. To learn how to measure your waist, visit Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk. For more information about losing weight or maintaining your weight, go to Aim for a Healthy Weight.


Limiting Alcohol Intake

Limit alcohol intake. Too much alcohol will raise your blood pressure and triglyceride levels, a type of fat found in the blood. Alcohol also adds extra calories, which may cause weight gain.

Men should have no more than two drinks containing alcohol a day. Women should have no more than one drink containing alcohol a day. One drink is:

12 ounces of beer
5 ounces of wine
1½ ounces of liquor
Managing and Coping With Stress

Learning how to manage stress, relax, and cope with problems can improve your emotional and physical health and can lower high blood pressure. Stress management techniques include:

Being physically active
Listening to music or focusing on something calm or peaceful
Performing yoga or tai chi
Meditating

Medicines

Blood pressure medicines work in different ways to stop or slow some of the body’s functions that cause high blood pressure. Medicines to lower blood pressure include:

Diuretics (Water or Fluid Pills): Flush excess sodium from your body, which reduces the amount of fluid in your blood and helps to lower your blood pressure. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill.
Beta Blockers: Help your heart beat slower and with less force. As a result, your heart pumps less blood through your blood vessels, which can help to lower your blood pressure.
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors: Angiotensin-II is a hormone that narrows blood vessels, increasing blood pressure. ACE converts Angiotensin I to Angiotensin II. ACE inhibitors block this process, which stops the production of Angiotensin II, lowering blood pressure.
Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs): Block angiotensin II hormone from binding with receptors in the blood vessels. When angiotensin II is blocked, the blood vessels do not constrict or narrow, which can lower your blood pressure.
Calcium Channel Blockers: Keep calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels. This allows blood vessels to relax, which can lower your blood pressure.
Alpha Blockers: Reduce nerve impulses that tighten blood vessels. This allows blood to flow more freely, causing blood pressure to go down.
Alpha-Beta Blockers: Reduce nerve impulses the same way alpha blockers do. However, like beta blockers, they also slow the heartbeat. As a result, blood pressure goes down.
Central Acting Agents: Act in the brain to decrease nerve signals that narrow blood vessels, which can lower blood pressure.
Vasodilators: Relax the muscles in blood vessel walls, which can lower blood pressure.

To lower and control blood pressure, many people take two or more medicines. If you have side effects from your medicines, don’t stop taking your medicines. Instead, talk with your health care provider about the side effects to see if the dose can be changed or a new medicine prescribed.

Hypertension Treatment

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Treatment Of  Hypertension:

High blood pressure (or hypertension) is a blood pressure reading above 140/90 mmHg. A high reading puts you at risk for a number of serious health conditions, including stroke and heart disease.

Long-term high blood pressure has been shown to increase the likelihood of an individual developing cardiovascular disease. Other complications of high blood pressure include:

poor circulation
damage to the heart muscle and tissue
risk of heart attack
risk of stroke
Many cases of high blood pressure cannot be traced to a direct cause. However, the longer the blood pressure is high, the more dangerous the side effects of the diagnosis can become.

Fortunately, there are proactive measures beyond simply taking medication that you can take to lower your blood pressure. Making the right lifestyle choices also helps control blood pressure.

Try these tips to reduce your blood pressure — and maybe even lower your chance of developing heart disease.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
According to the Mayo Clinic, maintaining a healthy weight for your body type helps keep your blood pressure in check. If you are overweight or obese, losing excess weight is especially important for lowering blood pressure.

Hypertension, when coupled with obesity, is dangerous to long-term health. Obesity can cause poor circulation, stress on joints and bone structure, and stress to the heart. This can make high blood pressure symptoms worse. That’s why, if you’re one of the 35 percent of Americans that struggle with obesity, it’s important to prioritize weight loss when treating your high blood pressure.

Weight loss can also make your blood pressure medication more effective. Losing weight can be particularly effective if your weight is outside of a healthy range, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Talk to your doctor about a target weight and a safe weight loss plan.

Take BMI Measurements
If you’re not sure if you need to lose weight, ask your doctor to measure your body mass index (BMI) and your waistline. These two readings help determine if your weight is related to your high blood pressure.

BMI is a measurement of your body’s height in proportion to your weight. While knowing your BMI can help predict your level of body fat, it may not be enough. Waist measurement can indicate risk for developing high blood pressure.

Exercise Regularly
A great way to improve your BMI and decrease your blood pressure is to get regular exercise.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) says that simple exercises like walking or doing chores around the house can lower blood pressure. ACSM recommends a half hour minimum of moderate physical activity five days a week.

By incorporating cardiovascular exercise into your routine, you will improve circulation, increase your lung capacity, and improve your heart efficiency. The combination of these benefits will reduce your blood pressure. It’s even better if you’re able to exercise outside. The exposure to Vitamin D in sunshine has been proven to increase happiness and reduce stress — just make sure to wear sunscreen.

If you’re not ready for cardiovascular exercise, start with a simple routine of stretching your muscles. Gentle yoga or Pilates programs are a good place to start. By stretching your muscles regularly, you will improve your circulation, alleviate pain in your muscles, improve your posture, and ultimately be able to take steps toward reducing hypertension.

Try DASH
A healthy diet is another key to improving and maintaining healthy blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic recommends the DASH diet, otherwise known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet.

This diet focuses on balanced nutrition and eating foods that are low in cholesterol and saturated fat. Here are the key elements to a DASH diet:

DASH-approved foods include fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and low- or no-fat dairy products.
A typical day on the DASH diet involves three full meals and two to three snacks. The center of each meal should be colorful, fiber-rich vegetables, with a small portion of lean protein to finish out the meal.
Nuts, seeds, and fresh fruits are the recommended snacks.
The DASH diet does not focus on food deprivation, but instead encourages eating enough to keep you full while cutting out sodium and artificial sugars.
DASH is effective and may cause your blood pressure to plummet as much as 14 mmHg.

Reduce Sodium Intake
Salt and high blood pressure don’t mix. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you cut even a little bit of salt from your diet, it can result in lowering your blood pressure by as much as 8 mmHg. The majority of salt in the American diet comes from restaurant food and prepared foods.

The American Heart Association recommends that you keep your sodium intake to no more than 1,500 mg a day.

Reduce and Manage Stress
Stress can increase blood pressure, at least temporarily. You’ll want to pay particular attention to lowering your stress if you’re at risk for high blood pressure due to being overweight.

Many activities can help you stay calm while dealing with daily stresses. Many of the same healthy actions that are good for your blood pressure — like eating right and exercising — can also counteract stress.

In addition to exercise, other forms of relaxation like meditation or deep breathing are also helpful. A morning routine that focuses more on calming rituals — like a cup of a calming chamomile tea and 10 minutes of thoughtful meditation — will decrease stress levels more than reaching for that double espresso.

Prevention
Maintaining a diet that is low in sodium, engaging in cardiovascular exercise for over half an hour three or four times per week, and being proactive about your stress levels are the most significant ways you can prevent hypertension.

Looking into your family history to find out if heart disease and hypertension are part of your genetic makeup is a way to find out if you are at high risk for developing high blood pressure and is good information for you and your doctor to have.

Outlook
When you’re living a healthy lifestyle, you’re also making the right choices for your blood pressure. Watching your weight, exercising, and eating right can win the battle against hypertension.


Taming your vices also makes a difference in some cases. If you smoke, drink too much alcohol, or drink caffeine daily, talk to your doctor to see if cutting back should be a part of your blood pressure reduction plan.