Today, those looking for how to control high blood pressure have a variety of methods to choose from.
Taking steps towards learning how to control high blood pressure is important for a number of reasons. Number one on the list is that according to the American Heat Association, is impacts about 1 out of every 3 adults in the country. In addition, it is directly or indirectly the cause of millions of deaths a year from illnesses such as heart failure, strokes, kidney failure, and others.
One of the things you should do first is to buy some sort of home blood pressure machine that will let you monitor your blood pressure as your try the various treatments. Invariably, some treatments work better with some people than others. In order to know definitely which treatments are working for you, you have to be able to measure the results.
Knowing how to lower high blood pressure is the first step to regaining your health. But, following through on your knowledge is just as important.
How to Control High Blood Pressure - 4 Ways
1) Prescription drugs - this is the most common method by far for treatment of hypertension. After being diagnosed, your doctor will typically put you on some type of medications. There is no one size fits all drug. Depending on how bad your blood pressure is and taking into account your allergies as well as other medications that you may be on, he will prescribe the drug he thinks is best for you.
Keep in mind, however, that this is not an exact science. If the drug shows little signs of being effective or if you are experiencing side effects, he may change the prescription at your next appointment. New drugs are coming onto the market all the time and finding the perfect one for you is mostly based on trial and error.
Having a blood pressure machine to monitor how the medications are affecting you in real time adds another piece of information that you can share with your doctor to help find the best medication for you.
Our high blood pressure medications list shows some of the more common prescriptions medications in the marketplace.
2) Lifestyle changes - even though heredity is obviously a factor in whether you get high blood pressure, it's well known that your lifestyle choices have an effect as well. Over eating, bad eating habits, smoking, drinking, and other factors can increase your blood pressure.
But changing some of these choices can affect lower your blood pressure as well. Changes you can make include - eating less salt in your foods, quit smoking, replace the "bad fats" in your diet with good fats, and control your weight. These are all things that you have direct control of that can help you to control your high blood pressure.
If you have only mild high blood pressure, you may even be able to avoid having to take medication by simply making changes in your lifestyle.
3) Herbs - many people, not exactly trusting the drug companies to be looking out for their best interest, want a more natural way of learning how to control high blood pressure. For these people, herbs are the natural choice. There are many herbs for high blood pressure. Some of the more common ones are hawthorn berry, olive leaf, mistletoe, and others have been used for decades to strengthen the heart and control blood pressure.
Unfortunately, there's been very few blind studies to verify whether many of them are effective or not. And the FDA, in most cases, has a hands off attitude when it comes to herbs, leaving you to basically determine on your own their effects.
If you do decide to use herbs, be sure to let your doctor know of your plans. And also consult with a trained herbologist that can warn you of harmful side effects, toxicity, and other potential dangers in taking the herb.
4) Potassium's Effect On High Blood Pressure
Many nutritionists believe that a major cause of high blood pressure is a deficiency of the mineral potassium. Potassium is considered one of the natural remedies for high blood pressure. It acts as a blood pressure regulator. It helps to keep the blood pressure balanced.
In studies which have looked at the overall potassium intake of populations, those with the lowest percentage of potassium in their diets have a higher percentage of their population suffering strokes or heart attacks.
In particular, it is the ratio of potassium to sodium that determines the risk of high blood pressure. The population of the U.S. consumes a great percentage of processed foods and fast foods. As a rule, these are foods that tend to be high in salt. As a result, the ratio of potassium to sodium in our diets tend to be on the low side. Nearly all medical professional will advise you to cut down on your salt intake if you have high blood pressure. And while this is a good idea, many nutritionists believe that this works to lower blood pressure because by lowering your salt intake you are inadvertently also changing the ratio of potassium to sodium in your body. And that ratio is what is really important.
The potassium and high blood pressure link is so strong that, in studies, potassium has been found to lower blood pressure even when the blood pressure is already in the average range.
People who are on diets that involve the taking of diuretics are especially at risk for having a low percentage of potassium in their body. This is because when you urinate, a lot of potassium is excreted along with the urine.