What will i do if my blood pressure is high?
So, you’ve been more stressed than normal lately or have been indulging in a few too many cheeseburgers (I’m not judging). And now, when you take your blood pressure at home or during a routine checkup, it’s higher than normal. Don’t panic! Here’s what to do if your blood pressure is high.
Understanding High Blood Pressure
Before we dive into the dos and don’ts of dealing with high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), let’s briefly talk about what it actually means. Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as it pumps through your body. This force can vary depending on factors such as physical activity level and emotions.
But when that force is consistently elevated over time, it can lead to health problems like heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. A normal blood pressure reading is usually around 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) or lower.
Anything above 130/80 mm Hg means that you could be diagnosed with high blood pressure – although individual readings taken at different times may also influence whether you are diagnosed or not!
Step 1: Monitor Your Numbers
If you suspect your blood pressure might be creeping up there (no pun intended) , start keeping track by measuring twice daily for one week while following these steps:
- Sit quietly for 5 minutes before taking measurements.
- Put both feet flat on the floor.
- Place cuff snugly around the upper arm.
- Follow instructions on monitor.
- Record each measurement along with date/time taken in logbook or digital tracking app.
After collecting these numbers for a week(don’t forget those dates/times!) , average them out to get an overall picture of where things stand.
Remember – Blood pressures fluctuate throughout day — so don’t worry if it varies between readings, that is a totally normal thing!
Step 2: Consult with your healthcare provider
While high blood pressure isn’t something to ignore, there’s no need to panic either. The next step on this journey is to schedule an appointment with your doctor or other healthcare provider(you know the ones) , and share these measurements.
Your healthcare provider may ask you about lifestyle habits such as diet, physical activity levels, smoking status, and so forth. Based on all of these factors combined (and they have their own long list), he or she may suggest changes like incorporating healthy behaviors being dropping unhealthy ones!
In some cases medication might be prescribed at this stage. Here are common types of medications for hypertension:
- Diuretics which can help lower blood pressure by flushing excess sodium and fluid from the body.
- ACE inhibitors (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors) can relax blood vessels making them wider — lowering BP in process.
- Calcium channel blockers allow calcium into heart muscle triggering contractions; also treat angina chest pain!
- Beta-blockers help the heart beat slower/less forcefully reducing stress (yes please!) .
- Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) – Similar mechanism AD Is but block different receptors in body
The use of medication will depend upon severity/highness level/patient history/natural predisposition although generally requires higher consistent measurement over set # days.
Step 3: Reduce Stress Levels
Stress plays a big role when it comes to managing high blood pressure (or any health issue for that matter!), So one way people find relief from hypertension while improving startegies call for natural methods such as exercise which reduces both anxiety by releasing endorphins (the feel good hormone):
Tip: Aim for 150 minutes per week total!
Other Low-stress techniques include things such as:
- Yoga or tai chi (inculcate that inner spirituality)
- Mindfulness meditation (just sit still for 3 minutes and focus on breath! Easy right?)
- Taking breaks during work day – get walk, tea break or some stretching!!
- Journaling methods: track daily habits/emotions surrounding high BP.
Remember to incorporate these practices at a frequency level that works best both your mind and body. Reduced stress=Smiling Heart
Step 4: Cut Down Salt
Salt intake is really salt heavy when it comes to increasing blood pressure levels (). Medical professionals suggest cutting back on salty items to prevent hypertension developing/ worsening
High sodium foods commonly found include the following:
-Foods with preservatives
-Salty snacks like chips/popcorn (put down that bag)
-Pickled foodstuffs — taiko/pickle chips etc.
-Deli meats such as ham/salami/bologna
-Canned soups — especially condensed varieties
Try incorporating herbs/spices in dishes instead of using heavy salts like garlic/turmeric etc. You can also opt out seasoning heavily all together – Opting out does not have affect flavors (#pro-tip)
So you’ve got control over spices now? – Great let’s talk about eating healthy too…
Step 5: Switch To A Healthy Diet
Eating smartly is essential part of treating high blood pressure. So what should you consume more amount of?
Vegetables/fruits richness in potassium content including but not limited to:
•Bananas •Spinach •Sweet potato
Yummy/Nutritious almonds(which help lower BP naturally!)
Lean proteins e.g chicken/fish dish/(non-red meat always helps!)
Avoid things such as full-fat dairy/ fatty meats which might elevate bp further up than normalization!
Thinking long term(never skip cheat days though) centered around overall health trajectory should be your guiding force when at the grocery store. Planning healthy meals alongside a glass of red wine (for good measure) wouldn’t hurt here and there (Empasis on “here and there”)
Step 6: Exercise
Physical activity is crucial when it comes to treating hypertension . There are numerous ways for you to incorporate exercise into lifestyle – depending upon personal choice/preferences.
Examples include but are not limited too:
- Walking – find stairs/ hills wherever possible
- Weightlifting – Increase cardiovascular health by adding strength training to weekly routine !!
Make sure these activities are regular part of routines without constraints affecting them!!
We considered including dancing/head banging in this list, but we found that core target group needing help would most likely suffer further complications if attempted thereby possiblY risking lives or at best damaging ear drums! Sounds hilarious, though (trust me I know)!
## Step 7: Keep track!!
After establishing steps with healthcare providers which may involve some form of Medication adjustments, changes in diet plan physical activity needs etc. Its vital monitor progress along way
Record BP readings regularly using that log book compadre :
Enforce checking charts keeping accurate dates/times—don’t miss any days!
Share info across board with loved ones; knowledge shared is power gained…
Here’s one last piece advice:
High blood pressure shouldn’t define who you are as person… nor should It control our everyday life-events…. We tend ignore long-term effects easy succumbing present struggles caused by condition but things do get better eventually given a commitment detail-oriented focus.
Take those baby steps…. before long they accumulate milestones — always remember YOU GOT THIS!!