How Do You Lower Systolic Blood Pressure?

High systolic blood pressure can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, reducing sodium intake, exercising frequently and losing weight, according to Ask Doctor K. People who do not see changes to their systolic blood pressure through these methods may require a prescription medication to get their numbers into a healthy range.

To treat overall high blood pressure, Mayo Clinic recommends eating a diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Focusing on potassium-rich foods or taking a potassium supplement may help to counteract the harmful effects of sodium on blood pressure. People should quit smoking entirely and limit caffeine and alcohol consumption. Stress levels must also be managed, as they can cause blood pressure levels to spike suddenly.

People who have high systolic readings with normal diastolic numbers are at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, so it is imperative to take immediate steps to lower their systolic pressure, according to Ask Doctor K. This is especially true for older patients, although attempts to take medication may be implemented more slowly. This is because elderly patients can suffer stronger side effects from rapid dosing at standard levels. Once a tolerable dosage is established, a doctor is likely to slowly increase the amount until a patient's systolic readings fall below 140 millimeters of mercury.