If you seek out the help of your doctor and follow his/her advice, you can start controlling high blood pressure. Controlling high blood pressure is not a difficult task. The difficult part is initially finding out that you have high blood pressure (hypertension). With the symptoms hard to detect before bringing you close to mortality, this problem is often called the “silent killer.”
If you find out that you have hypertension, you can start controlling high blood pressure quickly. With proper medication, altering your diet, and changing your lifestyle you will soon see that your blood pressure goes down. If you aren’t interested in changing your lifestyle or food habits, you will have a difficult time controlling high blood pressure. Since a cure isn’t possible for high blood pressure, a lifetime commitment to taking care of your body is necessary. Once you start controlling high blood pressure, the chance of experiencing problems like heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure will decrease.
Basic Methods for Controlling High Blood Pressure
The first thing that a doctor will recommend for controlling high blood pressure is changing your diet. For example, you will have to reduce your salt intake because salt causes your body to retain water. This is known as edema, which is where you excrete less water through urination. This increase in water puts pressure on the blood vessel walls, thereby causing hypertension.
So instead of using salt, you will have to try a salt substitute or other seasonings on your food for added flavor. This is a quick and easy way to start reducing hypertension.
Another thing that doctors recommend for controlling high blood pressure is losing weight. Obesity and high blood pressure have a strong positive correlation. When you see your doctor he/she will check your weight and give you suggestions on how to best lose weight.
One type of diet that has become highly recommended by doctors for controlling high blood pressure is called the DASH diet. DASH stands for “dietary approaches to stop hypertension.” This diet was actually created by the US government and was given high ratings in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997. The main aspects of the DASH diet is that you want to increase your intake of fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat, chicken and fish protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, while avoiding carbohydrates and food high in fat and oil. With the DASH diet people can start controlling high blood pressure and lose weight easier.
Other products that you need to avoid in controlling high blood pressure include any tobacco or alcoholic product. You are allowed to have as many as two alcoholic drinks per day, but the less the better. Even if you are great about sticking to the DASH diet, you can still have difficulty controlling high blood pressure if you continue to use tobacco products and excessive amounts of alcohol. If you don’t feel that you can control your tobacco and/or alcohol intake on your own, make sure to ask your doctor about where you can get help.
Controlling high blood pressure requires you to get moving. Lack of exercise is also correlated with hypertension. So you will need to find a way to add exercise to your daily routine. This can be a simple as parking farther from work to get more walking into your day. Whatever you can do to increase the amount of movement you do during the day will help in controlling high blood pressure.
Your doctor may also prescribe you medications called “antihypertensives” to help in controlling high blood pressure. With the medications, exercise, decreasing alcohol and tobacco intake, and altering your diet, you will be on your way to controlling high blood pressure.