Updated: Aug 10
Empowerment over your blood pressure is more attainable than you might think. The journey doesn't have to start with popping pills right after a high blood pressure diagnosis (unless the numbers are sky-high or symptoms are at the forefront, in which case your healthcare provider might suggest immediate medication).
Let's explore the avenues of control available to you:
- Shed those extra pounds if you're carrying them.
- Opt for a diet low in fat, generously enriched with fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy goodness.
- Shrink your sodium intake, considering a low-sodium salt substitute, steering clear of processed foods, and continue deciphering labels.
- Embark on an active adventure for a minimum of 30 minutes daily, on most days.
- Take a mindful approach to alcohol, especially if you're surpassing the 2-drinks-per-day threshold.
But can high blood pressure make a U-turn?
The answer: It's a possibility, with a dash of nuance.
Each lifestyle tweak mentioned above yields a 4-5 point drop in SBP (the upper digits of your blood pressure) and a 2-4 point dip in DBP (the lower numbers). Embracing the DASH diet (find more here: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan) can pack an impressive punch by lowering SBP by as much as 11 points.
If undiagnosed sleep apnea is lurking, addressing it through proper treatment could cast a favorable influence on your blood pressure.
Bear in mind, some unique scenarios like specific hormonal conditions and arterial irregularities can set the stage for early-onset high blood pressure. For those who find themselves grappling with high blood pressure in their 20s or 30s, a deeper dive into screening might be warranted to uncover any rarer underlying issues.