How to Reduce High Blood Pressure
by Chris Chenoweth
pressure is high:

A person with high blood pressure can look and feel perfectly OK. There are usually
very few obvious symptoms. The only way to know what your blood pressure is, is
to have it measured. So if you haven't had it checked in the last couple of years, get
it checked. If you are aged 40 or over, you should get it checked about once a year,
especially if you smoke or suffer from obesity or drink to excess.

If you have high blood pressure:

The most important thing is, DON'T PANIC! High blood pressure is relatively common
and is caused by a variety of factors. Fortunately, it usually responds very well to
proper treatment, so - don't worry!

Causes of high blood pressure:

Usually, there is no single cause. A variety of factors are involved:

The effect of high blood pressure:

High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. Over time, this
can lead to an increased likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.

Guidelines for Reducing High Blood Pressure:

*Family history of high blood pressure - If you have a family history of high blood
pressure and your own blood pressure is high, your doctor may recommend drug
treatment. This will usually be for life, although the risk of a stroke or heart attack is
usually greatly reduced.

*No family history - If your blood pressure is high but you don't have a history of high
blood pressure in your family, your doctor may still recommend drug treatment.
However, in most cases, your doctor will advise you to adopt a healthier lifestyle
along the following line:

*Quit smoking:
Smoking and high blood pressure are two serious factors for heart disease and
stroke. Smoking 20 cigarettes a day gives you twice the normal risk of a heart attack
and five times the risk of a stroke.

*Avoid being overweight:

High blood pressure and strokes are twice as common in obese people. Diabetes is
four times more common in middle-aged obese people.

*Eat less salt, and more fruit & vegetables:

Switch to low-sodium brands of salt. Don't add too much salt to food, especially
processed food (processed food often contains high levels of salt). Spice your food
with other ingredients.

*Regular amounts of fresh fruit & vegetables help to maintain a normal blood
pressure. They also help protect you against heart disease and cancer. Make lots of
home-made soup (disguises the taste of green vegetables!) and eat lots of chopped
fruit (chopped fruit is less frightening than whole pieces of fruit!)

*Get more active:

Long term regular physical activity can lower your blood pressure. Provided you take
it slowly to begin with and gradually build up to about 20-30 minutes a day, exercise
has enormous benefit. Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise

*Learn to relax:

Stress is a major contributory factor to disease. Exactly how it affects blood pressure
is not known, but anything that helps to ease your mind and reduce worry is GOOD.
So go with the flow and start relaxing.

About The Author

Chris Chenoweth, author of the Do-It-Yourself Home Health & Money Guide, writes
articles pertaining to nutrition, health issues, and household budgeting. If you would
like to find out more information on the Do-It-Yourself Home, Health & Money Guide,
please visit:
Everyone has 'blood pressure'. It
is a measure of how hard your
heart has to work in order to
pump blood around your body.

Normal blood pressure levels:

The 'normal' level is usually said
to be 120 (systolic) over 80
(diastolic), although this varies
with age, stress and activity. If
your blood pressure is higher
than 140/90, you should have a
chat with your doctor.

How to find out if your blood
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
this website is for educational purposes only.  Please consult with your physician before using natural
remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise
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