Health

How to monitor and lower your blood pressure

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Blood pressure refers to the pressure that blood exerts on the artery walls. Chances are, your doctor or other health care provider will take your blood pressure each time you visit their office for any reason. Learn what a normal blood pressure reading is, why high blood pressure can be dangerous, finding the best deal on a blood pressure monitor, and how you can work on getting your numbers down.

The Numbers

Your blood pressure is expressed in two numbers. The first, or top, number is your systolic pressure. This refers to how much pressure your blood puts on artery walls when your heart beats. The second, or bottom, number is your diastolic pressure, and it refers to the pressure in your arteries between heart beats.

A ‘normal’ blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. It’s considered high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, if it is sustainably over 130/80 mm Hg. While low blood pressure can be a problem, it’s rarely a systemic health issue. If your blood pressure is more than 120/80 mm Hg but less than 140/90 mm Hg, you are in the range of having pre-high blood pressure. While this is still a pretty normal reading, it is slightly higher than it should be.

You should be concerned if your numbers read 140/90 or higher because this could mean that you have hypertension. In this case, a change in your lifestyle is essential to try to lower your blood pressure.

Why It Matters

High blood pressure can have a lot of very serious complications like heart attack, aneurysm, or stroke. It can also potentially lead to vision loss and some types of dementia, plus several other serious conditions.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can have drastic effects on your heart, damaging it in a number of ways. Since hypertension heightens the pressure of blood flowing through your arteries, this can cause them to become narrowed and impaired. This puts you at a higher risk of coronary artery disease and heart failure.

Aside from being at risk of heart attack, damage to your brain, kidneys, and eyes are other significant conditions that may arise from hypertension. Since your brain is dependent on getting an adequate blood supply to properly function, high blood pressure can hinder this process. Those at risk of this can suffer from a transient ischemic attack, stroke and dementia. In addition, damage to eye blood vessels and the optic nerve can lead to serious vision problems.

Treating Hypertension

While there are several prescription medications like ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers that can help treat high blood pressure, the best treatments are ones you can do at home. Here are some practices you can do to lower blood pressure fast, without taking any medications.

1. Exercising regularly will make your heart more efficient at pumping blood, making it stronger and less susceptible to experiencing blood clots in your arteries. A 30-minute walk per day will put you on the track to lowering your blood pressure naturally, gradually improving your heart health overall.

2. Lowering the salt in your diet can also make a big difference in your blood pressure. Large amounts of sodium intake have been linked to high blood pressure and heart issues, although some people are more salt-sensitive than others. In general, avoiding processed foods and utilizing more herbs and spices in place of salt when seasoning your food can be really beneficial to working towards healthier eating habits.

3. Cutting back on alcohol and caffeine may reduce your risk of hypertension. Everybody’s bodies are all slightly different, and some react to these two substances in less serious ways than others. However, reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake may affect your blood pressure in a positive way, so it’s worth a shot.

4. Maintaining a healthy weight or working towards losing weight can reallyimpact your heart health. A healthy weight can make it easier for your blood vessels to do a more efficient job of expanding and contracting. Thus, there have been numerous studies that show that losing weight is linked to lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Working towards a healthy weight plus exercising can cause a greater dual-effect in naturally lowering your blood pressure.

5. Eating foods rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium are healthy for your heart and can ease the pressure on your blood vessels. Dairy, vegetables, fruit, fish, and beans are some foods that are high in all these minerals. By reducing the salt in your diet and eating healthier, exercising regularly, maintaining or getting to a healthy weight, and cutting back on alcohol, you can possibly lower your blood pressure without taking medications.

Blood Pressure Monitor

Treating high blood pressure by practicing these types of home treatments are great ways to get started on naturally reducing hypertension. Always see a medical professional if you have any concerns about your blood pressure. However one of the best ways to take control of managing your blood pressure is having a blood pressure monitor at home so you can keep track of your current levels and monitor how they trend with the above activity. We picked the best rated monitor on Amazon, which is currently at a great price, shop below.

Monitor