How to Keep Blood Pressure in the Safety Zone – Harvard Medical School

First of all, what is high blood pressure? Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it courses through the body. Like air in a tire or water in a hose, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity. Just as too much air pressure can damage a tire or too much water pushing through a garden hose can damage the hose, high blood pressure can threaten healthy arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke, according to WebMD.

When lifestyle changes fail to fix the problem, doctors tend to reach for the prescription pad and add medication, says Dr. William Kormos, editor-in-chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch and a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. Many people would rather not take a pill, or add another. For them, there are other ways to step up a blood pressure control campaign. The school has a special report: Hypertension: Controlling the Silent Killer.


Reduce sodium intake. The medically proven DASH diet keeps sodium to 2,300 milligrams per day (about one teaspoon of salt). Cutting it to 1,500—not easy, but doable—works even better. The DASH diet can lower your systolic pressure (upper number) by 10 points or more.

Monitor your pressure at home.
Checking blood pressure at home with an appropriate device can give you instant feedback on the benefits of diet and exercise and give you and your doctor a more accurate picture of your blood pressure. This is valuable, because some people experience “white coat hypertension,” in which blood pressure spikes higher than normal when measured at the doctor’s office.

Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. For men, the suggested limit is one to two alcoholic drinks per day, defined as 1.5 ounces (1 shot glass) of 80-proof spirits, a 5-ounce serving of wine, or a 12-ounce serving of beer. (For women it’s no more than one drink a day.)

Take more meds if you need to—but take the right ones. Many people who are already taking one or two hypertension medications ultimately come into “control” (blood pressure below 140/90) only when taking three or even four medications. But they need to be the right drugs.

Your doctor should combine medications that work to lower blood pressure in different ways. “Your doctor should pick medications in different classes that complement each other and won’t just be redundant,” Dr. Kormos says.

Tony

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8 Comments

Filed under Harvard Medical School, high blood pressure

8 responses to “How to Keep Blood Pressure in the Safety Zone – Harvard Medical School

  1. Ask your pharmacist!! In studies, patients who received Medication Therapy Management services from a pharmacist were more likely to take fewer and more beneficial medications and be more in control than those only being followed by a doctor. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on fitnessphoenixx and commented:
    Ask your pharmacist!! In studies, patients who received Medication Therapy Management services from a pharmacist were more likely to take fewer and more beneficial medications and be more in control than those only being followed by a doctor.

    Like

  3. Svegress

    Thanks for pushing the message. As a long term sufferer who has already had one stroke, I know that it was such advice that saved me from more attacks. You did miss one important contributor: coffee. My blood pressure registers even one cup. Good decaf…and a good barista.. Means you can still enjoy the taste without the stimulus.
    You are right about getting the correct combos especially to avoid or minimise side effects, I am still suffering a throat problem from one of the more commonly prescribed pills. If you can, go for radical lifestyle change rather than medication!

    Like

  4. Teresa

    I just diagnosed as htn vd 150/100

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fred

    typical advice from a medical school. No mention of diet except sodium and alcohol. Sodium I question. Alcohol – well Duh!? No mention of weight management. No mention of exercise. No mention of sugar, carbohydrates, hyperinsulinemia, insulin sensitivity, metabolic syndrome, or the really important factors associated with hypertension. Just drugs, drugs and more drugs. Med schools need a complete redo.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Isabel

    Thanx for the advice we need such things to read more about them it’s important awareness and eye opning to us people with less knowledge thanx Isabell

    Liked by 1 person

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