While eating a healthy diet, getting exercise and limiting alcohol consumption are all important in the overall plan to lower blood pressure, they do not take the place of medication when a doctor prescribes it, according to the American Heart Association. Patients with hypertension should develop a plan that helps them to avoid skipping a dose of medication, such as using a weekly medication dispenser or setting an alarm.
Lifestyle changes are often a part of reaching the goal of lowering hypertension, according to WebMD. Individuals with high blood pressure should track what they eat. Those who make better lifestyle choices concerning diet are able to reduce their dependence on medication, but a doctor's approval is needed before making any medication changes.
Drinking too much alcohol causes an increase in blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic. Men over age 65 and women of all ages should limit the number of alcoholic drinks to one a day. Men under 65 should limit their alcohol consumption to two drinks daily to help control hypertension.
High blood pressure has no symptoms, according to MedlinePlus. Many people don't realize they have a problem unless they visit a doctor for an unrelated condition. The blood pressure test is noninvasive, although some people experience slight discomfort when the cuff is fully inflated. A blood pressure greater than 140/90 is cause for concern.