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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.

Take care.

Becca

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You have high blood pressure and your doctor wants to put you on medication to bring it down. You hesitate because you know that you will end up taking this medication for the rest of your life. What are your other options?

If you suffer from high blood pressure, also sometimes referred to as hypertension, then finding ways to reduce it naturally can do your body a world of good. It helps to know that high blood pressure (HBP) is a medical condition that can be prevented if you take the proper steps to control it. Finding natural ways to lower your blood pressure is important because when it remains elevated for long periods at a time it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, aneurysms and a decline in cognitive function.

Shed Pounds:

The first thing you must do to lower your high blood pressure naturally is to lose weight if you’re obese or carrying in excess of 50 pounds. Weighing too much is not good for your blood pressure in any way! Eat less, eat healthier and start a regular exercise program.

Patients who suffer from hypertension who start walking briskly for at least 30 minutes a day, preferably at least five times a week (and more if possible) help their heart to work more effectively. This is because the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood through the body and it uses its oxygen supply more efficiently. Challenge your heart a bit every day and this will help to strengthen it. Of course before starting any exercise program talk to your primary care physician. For a gentle program consider Dr Al Sears PACE Exercise Program – more here.

Natural Health Practices:

Practice deep breathing, yoga, tai chi or meditation. These natural health practices are remedies for high blood pressure because they reduce the level of stress hormones in the body which in turn makes it easier for you to relax. It also helps to learn to breathe from your diaphragm instead of your chest. Inhale as deeply as you can to allow your belly to expand a ball and then let it out. Just feel the tension leave your body. Your blood pressure will thank you for it!

Healthy Diet:

A lower blood pressure diet should include foods that contain plenty of the mineral potassium. As a natural way to lower blood pressure potassium-rich foods such as bananas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, orange juice, cantaloupe, peas, kidney beans and honeydew melons win top marks.

Potassium can also be found in dried fruits. Examples of these include prunes and raisins. To naturally lower blood pressure you should try to keep your potassium levels around the 2,000 to 4,000 mg mark.

Here is an enjoyable way in which to improve your blood pressure; health- indulge in delectable dark chocolate. Chocolate of the dark variety (not milk chocolate) is composed of a healthy substance called flavanols that keeps the blood vessels strong and elastic. Eat no more than ½ ounce at a time as chocolate is high in saturated fat. Choose a variety that contains approximately 70 percent cocoa or more. This will help lower your blood pressure naturally.

Becca

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