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What is high blood pressure and why is it dangerous?
High blood pressure called Silent killer, and for good reason. Hypertension (hypertension) often has no pronounced symptoms, but dramatically increases the risk of developing dangerous cardiovascular disorders and stroke.
Blood pressure is measured in the format of two numbers. For example, 120/80. Or 200/140. Or 90/60. Here’s what those numbers mean:
- The first – systolic pressure – indicates how much (in millimeters of mercury) blood presses on the walls of blood vessels during a heartbeat.
- The second, diastolic pressure, measures the blood pressure as the heart rests between beats.
In general, blood vessels are elastic things. But if the blood pressure gets too high, they may not be able to keep up. Rupture of a vessel in any of the important organs leads to serious consequences – up to death.
What pressure is considered too high? There is a very clear answer to this question. Recently, the American Heart Association lowered bar of the concept of “high pressure” to 130/80. Previously, indicators of 140/90 were considered dangerous.
If you fix your pressure at this level or higher, you are at risk. Urgent action needs to be taken.
How to quickly lower blood pressure at home
Let’s say right away: if health is dear to you (and we believe that it is expensive), you need to contact a therapist with complaints of hypertension. Depending on your blood pressure level, your lifestyle, and other factors, your doctor will select an individual prevention and treatment plan for you and, most likely, prescribe medications that will help bring your blood pressure to normal levels.
But if for some reason you haven’t reached the doctor yet, here are a few ways to help lower your blood pressure. Choose the one that feels more comfortable to you, or combine several for maximum effect.
1. Breathe deeply
Studies show, proper deep breathing is one of the most effective ways to quickly lower blood pressure.
- Relax, close your eyes. This will help reduce the level of stress – one of the main provocateurs of hypertension .
- Take a deep breath, counting to 5. Inhale not with your chest, but with your stomach. Put your hand on it for control – you should feel your stomach rise.
- Then exhale and count to 5 again.
This deep breathing for 3-5 minutes will increase blood flow to all tissues in your body, including your limbs. Due to this, the pressure in the vessels will decrease.
You can try holding your breath after exhaling for 8-10 seconds – choose the exercise option that seems more comfortable to you.
2. Take a hot bath
Pour water at a temperature of about 45 ° C into a basin and immerse your hands or feet in it for 10 minutes. Hot water will cause the vessels in the limbs to expand, blood will flow to them, and blood pressure will decrease slightly.
3. Take a dip in cool water
Lie down to your shoulders in a 32-degree bath. The body will cool down, the body will lower the pulse rate, and this, in turn, will reduce pressure by 11-12%. If you hold only your hands in cool water, this will not work.
4. Drink warm mint tea
Steep a pinch of mint leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes, let cool and drink the tea in slow sips. In this form, peppermint can reduce blood pressure.
5. Make an apple cider vinegar compress or drink vinegar water
Soak a cheesecloth in table apple cider vinegar (3-9% strength) and apply the damp cloth to your feet for 10-15 minutes. This is a popular folk method.
True, there is no convincing evidence of its effectiveness today (scientists simply did not check whether a compress can lower blood pressure). However, in some cases, vinegar can really help.
It’s established that apple cider vinegar contains substances that, when taken orally, can reduce blood pressure (at least in rats it works). Research has not yet been completed, but they clearly have prospects.
So if you want to use apple cider vinegar to lower your blood pressure, it’s scientifically more effective to take it by mouth. For example, adding a teaspoon of liquid in a glass of water.
As a rule, table vinegar is safe in this form (exactly the same as it is safe when dressing salads). But keep in mind that this method should be abandoned if after use you have a toothache or heartburn, nausea, or indigestion.
6. Take valerian
Or drugs based on it, such as Corvalol. Valerian is a powerful sedative that helps the body deal with stress. The heart will begin to beat more calmly, blood pressure will decrease. Important: when taking, do not exceed the dose indicated in the instructions!
How to permanently lower blood pressure without medication
Let us remind you once again: the above ways to reduce pressure at home are emergency measures. It is necessary to fight the “silent killer” only with the help of a doctor, scrupulously following his recommendations.
But there is also good news. The level of pressure is greatly influenced by lifestyle. It is enough to change it in a healthy way, and hypertension will either recede altogether, or your need for medication will decrease significantly.
Experts from the reputable research organization Mayo Clinic compiled list Of the 10 ways to reduce blood pressure changes:
- Get rid of excess weight. Each kilogram lost will reduce your blood pressure by about 1 point.
- Exercise regularly. Your choice is aerobic exercise: long walks, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing. Dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to these activities. In this case, you will be able to reduce the pressure by another 5-8 points.
- Eat healthy food. More fruits, vegetables, cereals (cereals), less fat, convenience foods, pastries. Revising your diet will help you “subtract” your blood pressure by up to 11 points.
- Reduce the amount of salt in your diet. At least for a little bit. This will help lower your blood pressure by 5-6 points. Remember: WHO and other authorities recommend we (The Salt Myth – How Much Sodium Should You Eat Per Day?)consume no more than 1,500–2,300 mg of salt per day, which is less than a teaspoon!
- Limit the amount of alcohol. It is enough to reduce the consumed dose to one drink per day for women or two for men. One drink in this context is equal to 350 ml of beer or 150 ml of wine. Do not exceed this dose and your blood pressure will drop another 4 points.
- Quit smoking. Every cigarette adds a little BP to you.
- Drink less coffee. However, this is a bit of a controversial issue, since scientists are still discussing the effect of coffee on blood pressure levels. The fact is that in some people caffeine causes an increase in blood pressure, while in others this effect is not observed. If you belong to the first category (check: measure the pressure before the coffee break and 30 minutes after it and compare the indicators), it is better to refuse the drink.
- Try to reduce stress. Chronic stress is one of the main provocateurs of high blood pressure.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home and consult your doctor regularly. Home monitoring will help you better understand which lifestyle changes are working and which are not.
- Reach out to family and friends for support. Let them know about your problem and ask for help. Caring for loved ones will make your struggle easier and reduce stress.