Although hypertension, or high blood pressure, can’t be cured, it can be controlled. Once you begin a treatment program, controlling your blood pressure is usually easier. Keep in mind, controlling your blood pressure helps reduce your risk of diseases, such as stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease.
Lt Col Reynolds
We’ve all heard that there are things we can do to keep our blood pressure under control. It’s important to remember that treatment for hypertension almost always includes making changes in your lifestyle. These changes involve adjustments to your diet. A Mediterranean diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs, and whole grains is heart healthy. Limiting your salt intake is also a good idea. If you’re overweight, your provider can suggest additional options, or refer you to a registered dietician.
Another common lifestyle change involves your activity level. Your provider may recommend a fitness program, with at least 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity at least four days per week. The level and type of activity is determined by your current physical condition. Be sure to check with your provider before starting any fitness program.
If you smoke or use tobacco, your provider can suggest a tobacco cessation program for you. If you consume excessive amounts of alcohol, it’s important that you limit your consumption.
That’s good advice, Dr. Reynolds. As powerful as those lifestyle changes can be, unfortunately, there are times when they can bring blood pressure down only part of the way.
However, there are many medications available to help lower high blood pressure. These medications are called “antihypertensives.” Your provider can discuss options with you. Don’t be surprised if you have to go through a trial period to find the medications that work best for you to manage your high blood pressure.