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Saturday, February 4, 2012

- control blood pressure without medicine -



If you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure (a systolic pressure — the top number — of 140 or above or a diastolic pressure — the bottom number — of 90 or above), you might be worried about taking medication to bring your numbers down.

Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you may avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication.

1. Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline

Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds can help reduce your blood pressure. In general, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Losing weight also makes any blood pressure medications you're taking more effective. You and your doctor can determine your target weight and the best way to achieve it.

Besides shedding pounds, you should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure. In general:

  • Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters, or cm).
  • Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (88 cm).
  • Asian men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 36 inches (90 cm).
  • Asian women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 32 inches (80 cm).

2. Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity — at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). And it doesn't take long to see a difference. If you haven't been active, increasing your exercise level can lower your blood pressure within just a few weeks.

If you have prehypertension (systolic pressure between 120 and 139 or diastolic pressure between 80 and 89), exercise can help you avoid developing full-blown hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.

Talk to your doctor about developing an exercise program. Your doctor can help determine whether you need any exercise restrictions. Even moderate activity for 10 minutes at a time, such as walking and light strength training, can help.

But avoid being a "weekend warrior." Trying to squeeze all your exercise in on the weekends to make up for weekday inactivity isn't a good strategy. Those sudden bursts of activity could actually be risky.

3. Eat a healthy diet

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

It isn't easy to change your eating habits, but with these tips, you can adopt a healthy diet:

  • Keep a food diary. Writing down what you eat, even for just a week, can shed surprising light on your true eating habits. Monitor what you eat, how much, when and why.
  • Consider boosting potassium. Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium is food, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. Talk to your doctor about the potassium level that's best for you.
  • Be a smart shopper. Make a shopping list before heading to the supermarket to avoid picking up junk food. Read food labels when you shop, and stick to your healthy-eating plan when you're dining out, too.
  • Cut yourself some slack. Although the DASH diet is a lifelong eating guide, it doesn't mean you have to cut out all of the foods you love. It's OK to treat yourself occasionally to foods you wouldn't find on a DASH diet menu, like a candy bar or mashed potatoes with gravy.

4. Reduce sodium in your diet

Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. The recommendations for reducing sodium are:

  • Limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less.
  • A lower sodium level — 1,500 mg a day or less — is appropriate for people 51 years of age or older, and individuals of any age who are African-American or who have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

To decrease sodium in your diet, consider these tips:

  • Track how much salt is in your diet. Keep a food diary to estimate how much sodium is in what you eat and drink each day.
  • Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.
  • Eat fewer processed foods. Potato chips, frozen dinners, bacon and processed lunch meats are high in sodium.
  • Don't add salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices, rather than salt, to add more flavor to your foods.
  • Ease into it. If you don't feel like you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.

5. Reduce your stress

Stress or anxiety can temporarily increase blood pressure. Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness. Once you know what's causing your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.

If you can't eliminate all of your stressors, you can at least cope with them in a healthier way. Take breaks for deep-breathing exercises. Get a massage or take up yoga or meditation. If self-help doesn't work, seek out a professional for counseling.

9. Monitor your blood pressure at home and make regular doctor's appointments

If you have high blood pressure, you may need to monitor your blood pressure at home. Learning to self-monitor your blood pressure with an upper arm monitor can help motivate you. Talk to your doctor about home monitoring before getting started.

Regular visits to your doctor are also likely to become a part of your normal routine. These visits will help keep tabs on your blood pressure.

  • Have a primary care doctor. People who don't have a primary care doctor find it harder to control their blood pressure. If you can, visit the same health care facility or professional for all of your health care needs.
  • Visit your doctor regularly. If your blood pressure isn't well controlled, or if you have other medical problems, you might need to visit your doctor every month to review your treatment and make adjustments. If your blood pressure is under control, you might need to visit your doctor only every six to 12 months, depending on other conditions you might have.

6. Get support from family and friends

Supportive family and friends can help improve your health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, drive you to the doctor's office or embark on an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure low. Talk to your family and friends about the dangers of high blood pressure.

If you find you need support beyond your family and friends, consider joining a support group. This may put you in touch with people who can give you an emotional or morale boost and who can offer practical tips to cope with your condition.



P/S : lu org perasan x yg gua besarkan semua sentence tu? tu yg wa kena banyak wat skrg ni... kehkehkeh

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