Having high blood pressure that isn’t controlled can increase your risk for health problems like stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
While many health officials feel that the answer to why most people develop high blood pressure isn’t known, some researchers and doctors feel that the following are at least partly to blame:
- Air pollution
- Insulin resistance
- Being overweight
How Can You Lower Your Blood Pressure?
You may be able to ask your doctor to run a fasting insulin level on you. If your insulin levels are high, it’s extra important to decrease or eliminate sugar in your diet. Not only do many doctors believe this can decrease your blood pressure, but it can lower your risk of developing diabetes.
Other ways to help decrease your blood pressure include:
- Get daily exercise
- Manage your stress
- Avoid or quit smoking
- Eat a healthy diet heavy in non-starchy vegetables
- Eliminate processed foods from your diet
Should You Use Medication?
Whether or not you should use medication to control your blood pressure while you’re implementing other hypertension-controlling measures in your life is best decided by you and your doctor.
Generally, if your blood pressure is only mildly elevated, you may be able to avoid medication with monitoring while you make healthy lifestyle changes. If your blood pressure is quite high, you and your doctor may decide to use medications to avoid stroke and re-evaluate whether you need to stay on them as you proceed.
Stress-Reducing Techniques for Decreasing Blood Pressure
The following practices, used daily as part of an otherwise healthy lifestyle, can help you control your stress and manage your blood pressure: