It happens all the time – one minute your blood pressure is fine and the next it’s out of range and you’re wondering what happened and how you get it back down again.
First – don’t panic. If you used one of those machines at the local pharmacy then you should know they’re notoriously unreliable and often give false readings. Now, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it so schedule a test at your doctor’s office.
They’ll either confirm it is high or release you from the fear. They may also be able to diagnose why it is high by running other tests.
Even if it is above normal there are things you can do before resorting to prescription drugs. High blood pressure can be caused by many things and stress is a common culprit and diet and lack of exercise.
If you get a high blood pressure reading then here are things you can do to try and lower it, and frankly they are things you should be doing anyway. As always discuss these with a medical professional:
1. Lose weight. Even shaving 20/30 lbs off your weight unless you’re at ideal weight already should be in your plan. If you need to lose more than a few pounds then join a weight loss program or see a hypnotherapist.
2. Increase potassium intake. Bananas should be your first choice unless you dislike their taste.
3. Reduce sodium. Most food has salt added already and so there is no need to add more to taste.
4. Exercise regularly. Walking is fine but be consistent and set aside at least 20-minutes per day if you can or at least 3-4 times per week.
5. Limit alcohol. If you drink alcohol every day then ask yourself why? Sorry but water is much better for you. Alcohol is also full of calories (even lite beer) so it sabotages your effort of losing weight.
6. Cut back on caffeine. Yes, I love my coffee and tea as well but you don’t have to stop just reduce your caffeine intake. If you get your caffeine from soda then this is worse as its sugar-laden and again sabotaging your weight loss.
7. Finally, reduce stress. You can’t eliminate stress altogether but you can learn to cope better. Look into things such as yoga and meditation, and even treat yourself to a massage.
If you reach the stage where your Doctor prescribes drugs then continue to do these seven things as there is a good chance they will work together and allow you to eventually come off the drugs.