Options for Treating Hypertension Without Drugs
Hypertension, also known as high-blood pressure, is when the blood pumps through narrowed arteries. This causes the heart to work harder and can lead to a heart attack or stroke if left untreated. Some people can go for years with uncontrolled hypertension. For this reason, regular blood-pressure monitoring is a good idea. Certain prescription medications are used to treat hypertension but can have adverse side effects. Fortunately, there are ways to treat hypertension without drugs.
Eating healthier foods is an effective way to reduce blood pressure without using prescription drugs. Good choices include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain carbohydrates and low-fat dairy products.
Increasing your intake of potassium, a mineral found in fruits such as orange juice and bananas, can help in the control of hypertension.
Decreasing salt intake is crucial. Those with high-blood pressure should not only watch their use of the salt shaker, but also check the labels of prepared foods for the amount of sodium in the food. Hypertension patients should eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Maintaining a healthy weight is another essential nondrug treatment for high-blood pressure. Those who are overweight can decrease their hypertension by losing even five pounds.
Exercising can also help. The Mayo Clinic recommends 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
Stop any use of cigarettes or other tobacco products. Smoking exacerbates hardening of the arteries, which worsens hypertension and increases the risk of heart attack and/or stroke.
Reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake, as these beverages increase blood pressure. Women and those over 65 should have no more than one alcoholic drink each day, and men are advised by the Mayo Clinic to limit their drinks to two.
Learn and practice stress management techniques such as slow, deep breathing or other methods of relaxation such as meditation or yoga. Reducing stress is a proven remedy for hypertension.