High blood pressure (hypertension) is a serious medical condition that affects nearly half of all adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It happens when your blood exerts too much pressure on the walls of your blood vessels.
When blood pressure stays high for a long time, it can lead to serious or even fatal medical problems such as stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, vision loss, heart failure, and sexual dysfunction, according to the American Heart Association.
Fortunately, you can take some important steps to help lower your blood pressure. At Encino Park Family Health & Wellness Clinic in San Antonio, Texas, our care providers are experts at diagnosing, preventing, and treating high blood pressure, as well as educating our patients about how to manage their blood pressure.
Here, we share six steps you can take to bring down elevated blood pressure and protect your health.
If your provider has prescribed blood pressure medication for you, take it exactly as recommended. Blood pressure drugs such as beta-blockers, diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers can help reduce blood pressure and protect you from serious complications.
Your provider will let you know how often you should have your blood pressure checked, and whether you should monitor it at home. Together, you and your provider can make a plan for what you should do if your blood pressure goes up.
Choosing the right foods can benefit your blood pressure and your heart. A heart-healthy blood pressure-supporting diet includes:
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan is an excellent way to help manage blood pressure. You may download a copy here.
Daily exercise is one of the best things you can do for your blood pressure and your heart. Not only does it strengthen your heart, but it reduces stress and helps with weight management, which can both have a positive impact on blood pressure.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (walking, jogging, swimming, cycling) per day, at least five days a week.
Carrying around excess weight puts additional pressure on your blood vessels and your heart. Smart eating and exercise can help you lose extra pounds.
Chronic stress is more than just an annoyance. It can also contribute to high blood pressure and can interfere with your efforts to make lifestyle changes that improve your health, such as eating right and exercising regularly.
Good ways of reducing stress include meditation, mindfulness, yoga, visualization, and spending time with supportive family and friends.
If you have high blood pressure – or if you haven't had your blood pressure checked in a while -- we can help. You can count on our care team to take the very best care of you. To schedule an appointment with one of our providers, call 210-568-5816, or visit our website.