There are a range of causes for a person to be suffering from high blood pressure and many actions that may be undertaken to mitigate these problems. Medical professionals refer to this medical problem as hypertension. Keep reading to find lowering high blood pressure without medication.
Common causes of hypertension
A significant factor in the development of hypertension is when a person is considered to be overweight. This is particularly the case where the level of overweight could be regarded as obesity. A doctor will be able to advise on the correct course of action in this case. A further key aspect in the development of hypertension is the consumption of too much salt combined with a lack of eating sufficient fruit and vegetables.
Beyond dietary issues, the lack of undertaking regular exercise is recognized by doctors as being a major contributing factor to an increase in blood pressure. This problem is often compounded when combined with drinking too much alcohol, caffeinated soft drinks, or coffee. Smoking tobacco is a contributor to many serious health issues, which will include hypertension. Being unable to get ‘a good night’s sleep’ will also compound hypertension issues.
High blood pressure can also be found within families where several relatives may suffer from it. This is particularly the case of people who are of an Afro Caribbean background. Age also provides a contributory factor, especially for those who are aged over 65.
Underlying health issues contributing to hypertension
There are many health issues that doctors may consider to be indicated by the presence of hypertension. Some of these issues include:
- kidney disease
- sleep apnea
- hormone and thyroid issues
- damage to organs and blood vessels
Medications that may contribute to hypertension
There are several prescription and ‘over the counter’ drugs that may contribute to hypertension. These include:
- the contraceptive pill
- anti-inflammatory drugs
- some pharmacy cough and cold remedies
- herbal remedies containing licorice
- drugs – cocaine and amphetamines
- some antidepressants
Reduce hypertension without medication
Although there are many medications available to combat hypertension (click here for more information), there are otheractions that can be undertaken to reduce blood pressure without using drugs or medicines. The steps will require lifestyle changes and may need to be undertaken over a long period of time.
A first step in tackling hypertension will often involve losing weight. There is a direct relationship between hypertension and being overweight. Before entering into a weight loss program, it would be advisable to consult with a doctor to determine a satisfactory target weight for your particular height, build, and ethnicity. The doctor may advise against certain weight loss activities due to other health issues being present.
Taking regular exercise will assist in lowering blood pressure. However, medical advice should be obtained before undertaking such a plan as there may be issues, beyond hypertension, which could be exacerbated by even taking a walk, jogging, or swimming. Those who are considerably overweight should be particularly careful in this respect.
Adopting a healthy diet can lead to weight loss, which will aid in the reduction in blood pressure. Some foods are particularly high in sodium (salt), which has been shown to be a significant contributor to hypertension. Foods that contain potassium are a good source for countering sodium intake. Many fruits and vegetables are a source of potassium.
Monitoring alcohol consumption can be beneficial. It is considered that ‘moderate’ alcohol consumption is beneficial to health. However, consuming large amounts of alcohol can lead to an increase in weight and blood pressure.
Stopping smoking is a sure way to reduce a wide range of health issues, including blood pressure problems. Doctors can help in advising on how to stop smoking to aid blood pressure reduction.
There is some conjecture concerning the effect of caffeine on blood pressure. Some studies suggest that those who regularly consume coffee do not suffer from increased blood pressure. However, there is some evidence to suggest that infrequent coffee drinkers may see a rise in their blood pressure after consuming caffeine.
Stress levels and hypertension
Doctors agree that raised levels of stress lead to an increase in blood pressure. As stress is caused for different people in various ways, there is no single solution to this issue. Each person will need to identify the areas of their life which are the source of stress and eliminate it. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. The stress may be caused by work or life issues that are fundamental to everyday life. Dealing with these issues may require ‘professional’ help in the form of counseling in order to deal with them. Stress may also impact by causing a sufferer to seek respite in ‘comfort’ eating or drinking, which, in turn, may produce higher levels of blood pressure and other health issues.
Therefore, the ability to relax and ‘get away’ from the issues that cause stress and lead to hypertension is crucial. Listening to music, walking the dog, and taking part in arts & crafts are examples of ways to reduce stress and lowering high blood pressure.
Monitor blood pressure
In order to keep blood pressure under close control, it is wise to purchase a blood pressure monitor to use at home. These monitors are widely available and are easy to use. It should be pointed out that any program to reduce blood pressure should be referred to a doctor before being undertaken. As noted previously, there may be underlying health issues related to the raised blood pressure, which require expert medical evaluation and help.
The issues of hypertension are wide-ranging and can relate to many other health issues. It cannot be stressed too strongly that regular consultation with a doctor is required when undertaking a program to reduce blood pressure. A combination of a change in diet, increased exercise, reduced stressful life situations, and a ‘more relaxed attitude’ can lead to the control of hypertension without resorting to medication. There are so many elements that can contribute to blood pressure rising that it is very important to seek support from qualified help to achieve the desired results.
The reality is that dealing with life is stressful. Having the ability to manage the stress will lead to a healthier lifestyle, which will include controlling blood pressure. Tests have shown that people who suffer from stressful situations can lower their blood pressure and heart rate by simply stroking a pet dog, cat, or other ‘furry’ animal. So many small changes to a lifestyle can produce the desired effect of reducing hypertension without the need for medication. The combination of all these changes may impact positively in ways that are beyond merely reducing blood pressure.
Taking up a sport, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and ‘getting away’ from stressful situations can all contribute to lowering high blood pressure and live a much healthier, happier life.