With all the information available, by now most of us know that high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other life threatening problems. However, getting it down and keeping it that way are still a bit on the confusing side.
There are stages in the BP readings, and understanding them is necessary to learning how to control it. Normal readings are under 119/79. Prehypertension is ranged from 120/80 to 139/89. Stage one hypertension is from 140/90 to 149/99, and stage two is above 150/100, according to the Mayo Clinic Chart.
Knowing your numbers and where they are on the chart is important. If it is in the high range, you may require medication to get it down to a safer level. The following suggestions are safe to use with most blood pressure medications, but it is always wise to check with your doctor first.
There is a strong relationship between these two sets of numbers. Cholesterol can coat your blood vessels, causing hardening of the arteries. This constricts them, making BP higher as the body tries for force blood through the narrowed openings. Keeping cholesterol in check will greatly help reduce your risks.
Being active will temporarily raise your numbers, but that is to be expected. Once your body has settled down, these numbers will drop and may even approach normal levels. It will also help keep weight and cholesterol down.
Both studies and personal experience has shown me that garlic can be very useful for this purpose. While you may still require medication, the use of this supplement could reduce the amounts required to achieve your goals.
The fatty acids found in cold water fish like salmon as well as flax seeds are beneficial to cholesterol numbers, as it can raise HDL and lower LDL levels. This, in turn, helps your blood pressure levels.
This will be one of the hardest things you need to do. We love salt, and it shows. Sodium is found in almost every manufactured food product, usually in large quantities. Before your food even hits the dinner table, it’s already overloaded. Then, when we sit down to eat, one of the first things we grab is the salt shaker.
There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that recent studies suggest it does not raise the pressure in those who do not have heart disease and/or high blood pressure. The bad news is that if you are in the latter category, it has a strong upward action on your numbers.
This is the only thing I think harder to deal with than the love affair with the salt shaker. If you are struggling in this department, you are not alone, I’m right there with you. There’s hope, I’ve lost sixty pounds and more is being dropped, but it’s not easy. It will, however, improve your health overall and your BP numbers in particular. Mine isn’t 178/123 anymore…
If you are concerned that you may have or are at risk for this problem, make an appointment and talk to your doctor. As you know, they take your BP at every visit, so he or she will have records of what it was in the past. This will help the two of you work out the best plan for keeping your numbers in line.
Mary Bodel is a master herbalist since 2004 although my training began long before I reached that level. I believe that health encompasses more than taking care of our bodies. It involves everything from what we eat to what we read. It involves our spirit as well as our body.