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How do you lower your blood pressure?

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Quick Answer

People can lower their blood pressure by making healthy lifestyle changes to improve their diets, exercise more frequently, avoid excess sodium and alcohol, minimize stress levels and take medications prescribed by their doctors. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to bringing blood pressure levels into a healthy range, according to the American Heart Association.

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How do you lower your blood pressure?
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Full Answer

The American Heart Association explains that people with the highest blood pressure readings are likely to receive a doctor's prescription to quickly gain control over their numbers. It is not uncommon once on a medication for a person to stay on it for the rest of his life or be switched to another type of medication in the future, according to a doctor's assessment of his disease.

Medications alone cannot ensure the continuing health of a patient, and the American Heart Association stresses the importance of also increasing physical activity and eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Mayo Clinic suggests increasing one's potassium intake, as it is believed the mineral mitigates some of the damage caused by sodium.

One of the eating plans used to combat high blood pressure is the DASH diet. "DASH" stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. This diet limits the consumption of sodium, red meat, baked goods, sweetened beverages and candy. People following the DASH diet eat whole grains, fresh and frozen produce, low-fat dairy products, poultry, seeds, nuts and fish.

The Mayo Clinic says exercise helps lower blood pressure by making the heart stronger. If the heart is strong, it does not have to work as hard to move blood through the circulatory system. Although weight-bearing exercises are important for building muscle, aerobic exercise is needed to control blood pressure.

Some people need to take medication to lower their blood pressure. Several different types of drugs are available: alpha-blockers, ACE inhibitors, diuretics, central agonists, calcium channel blockers and angiotension II receptor blockers, according to WebMD. Each type of drug works differently, but all of these medications help to lower blood pressure and prevent the heart from working harder than necessary.

Some people are more prone to developing high blood pressure than others, according to genetics and lifestyle, according to the American Heart Association.

As of 2014, a cure for high blood pressure does not exist, but the condition can easily be controlled through the guidelines listed by the American Heart Association.

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