Updated: Aug 3
You have a lot of control over your blood pressure. You may not have to start taking pills immediately after getting diagnosed with high blood pressure ( unless your blood pressure is super high, or you are having symptoms from high blood pressure, in which case your doctor may advise you start pills right away. ) Here’s what you can do:
1) Lose weight (if you are overweight)
2) Choose a diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products
3) Reduce the amount of salt you eat, go for a low sodium salt substitute, avoid processed food and read labels.
4) Do something active for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
5) Cut down on alcohol (if you drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day).
Is high blood pressure reversible? The answer is sometimes.
Impact of each lifestyle change mentioned above is 4-5 points drop in SBP ( systolic blood pressure or the top number) and 2-4 points drop in DBP( diastolic blood pressure or the bottom blood pressure. A DASH diet ( read here https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan) can lower SBP by as much as 11 points.
If you have undiagnosed sleep apnea, your blood pressure may get better after appropriate treatment.
Certain hormonal conditions and arterial malformations can cause high blood pressure at a young age. People who develop high blood pressure in their 20s or 30s, should be screened for these rarer problems.