High blood pressure can lead to exacerbated conditions, especially if you’re unable to control it over time. To help you lower blood pressure immediately, try to relax, practice breathing techniques, and call for medical attention. If you’re prescribed BP lowering medications, take them according to your doctor’s instructions.
Following these steps will help you stabilize your blood pressure. However, lifestyle adjustments had to be adopted to deal with hypertension completely. Find out what these changes are as you read on, along with the four steps to lower blood pressure quickly.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, also known clinically as hypertension, entails that your blood pressure is beyond the normal range, increasing your risk for stroke, aneurysm, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Blood pressure, in general, describes the force exerted on the arterial walls as blood flows toward different organs. It changes according to your activities within the day. However, when it reaches a dangerous height, it could damage your blood vessels or carry blood clots leading to blockage.
According to the American College of Cardiology and American Heart’s Association, about 47.3% or 116 million adults in the US have hypertension. The data is at par with the risk factors for high blood pressure, which are largely embedded in the sedentary lifestyle that millions of Americans adopt.
Here are the risk factors for hypertension:
- Inactivity or lack of exercise
- Unhealthy diet
- Old age
- Chronic stress
- Kidney disease
- Heavy alcohol drinking
- Hormone disorders
- Family history of hypertension
Don’t hesitate to let your doctor know if you have these risks, especially when you have your wellness checkup.
How to Lower Blood Pressure Instantly?
You can tell if you’re experiencing alarmingly high blood pressure with the following symptoms: irregular heartbeat, chest pain, headache, neck ache, trouble breathing, pounding sensation (in the chest, neck, and ears), dizziness, confusion, blood in urine, and fatigue.
If this is the case, measure your bp if you have a monitoring device nearby. Blood pressure is considered high if it reads 130/80 mm Hg or above. The normal value sits at 120/80 mm Hg.
Consider the following steps for accurate measurement and lower blood pressure to a less threatening state.
- Relax and Stay Still
If you have been doing strenuous activities prior to experiencing hypertension, you ought to stop and relax to measure and stabilize your bp. Find a cool shaded area to rest. Crank up your heater or radiator to encourage better blood flow during cold weather.
According to the American Heart Association, sitting down is the recommended position when taking blood pressure. However, if you aim to reduce blood pressure, getting into a specific position is largely believed to have no impact. Hence, whether you choose to lie down, sit, or stand, it will not significantly raise or reduce your bp.
On the other hand, if you’re doing multiple testing, make sure you are in the same position as when you’ve done your initial reading for accurate comparison.
- Do Breathing Exercises
Paying attention to your breathing, especially when you do exercises such as the 30-second breathing exercise, can lower blood pressure relatively quickly. Japanese researchers have supported this notion by highlighting the benefit of deep breathing for patients with hypertension.
To perform the 30-second breathing exercise, you simply have to take six deep breaths within 30 seconds. Aside from its immediate impact in reducing blood pressure, it also allows your body to stabilize when facing stressful situations.
Chronic stress, as a whole, affects heart health. For example, according to a study published in AHA Journals, subjects who had no hypertension experienced disruptions in the blood flow and ebb when experiencing chronic stress.
The stress level analysis for this research spanned 13 years, strengthening the data which suggest that people experiencing a consistent increase in their cortisol or stress hormone have a 90% increase in risk for stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular conditions.
- Take BP Lowering Medications
After getting diagnosed with hypertension, chances are your doctor will prescribe a suitable medication for your condition – sometimes more than one. Low blood pressure treatment includes drugs of the following classifications:
- Diuretics: Allows the kidneys to remove more excess sodium, water, and other types of salts which improves blood flow.
- Vasodilators: Relaxes the blood vessel walls to widen the passage of blood flow.
- Beta blockers: Restricts the chemicals triggering increased heart pump and beat.
- Renin inhibitors: Blocks renin, a chemical in the kidney that promotes high blood pressure.
- Calcium channel blockers: Inhibits the entry of calcium into the cardiovascular muscles leading to a lesser force required for blood flow.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): Allows your blood vessels to relax by inhibiting angiotensin II, a chemical that promotes vascular constriction.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: Stops the production of angiotensin II.
Some of the most renowned medications that lower blood pressure quickly are nifedipine and captopril. Both drugs have rapid reactions ranging from 30 minutes to 1 hour, as presented in a study published in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.
Nifedipine is a calcium channel blocker, while captopril is an ACE inhibitor. While both medications have fast reactions, you should talk to your doctor first for a proper prescription.
- Seek Medical Attention
Home remedies for high blood pressure may not be enough, especially if the condition is alarmingly high. If you or anyone nearby shows signs of hypertension – more so if the blood pressure value confirms the condition- call 911 or any emergency medical hotline.
Seek medical attention as quickly as you can to ensure that hypertension will not escalate into a more life-threatening condition. While waiting for the medics to arrive, you can employ the aforementioned emergency treatment at home for lowering blood pressure.
Dos and Don’ts in Controlling Blood Pressure
When dealing with high blood pressure, don’t aim for quick relief. Instead, adopt consistent actions that improve your condition. Hypertension is treatable and widely considered the most preventable cardiovascular disease risk factor. This means you can lean on clinical and natural ways to lower blood pressure. Check out the best steps you can take and those you should avoid.
- Be Mindful of Your Diet
Avoid foods high in sodium salt like processed or cured meat, chips, and all types of junk foods. Salt impacts the fluid balance of the body, which disrupts blood flow and raises blood pressure. Instead, eat foods that are good for the heart, such as leafy greens, fruits, lean meat, nuts, and legumes.
Foods rich in potassium can also lower blood pressure, as highlighted in a comprehensive review published in the International Journal of Cardiology. This is because potassium counteracts the activities of sodium that influence blood pressure.
- Lose Some Weight
Having an active lifestyle ensures that you stay in a healthy weight range. Otherwise, your risk for hypertension and related conditions rapidly increases. Weight gain associated with the accumulation of lipids leads to narrowed blood vessels resulting in high blood pressure, among others. In addition, obesity is a risk factor for hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
Pro Tip: Know your risk for heart disease by taking a comprehensive lipid profile blood test. Understanding your lipid levels empowers you to take action against hypertension and cardiovascular disorders.
- Relax More
With chronic stress serving as a potential trigger for high blood pressure, it’s best to ensure that you deal with your stressors in the best possible way. Avoid unhealthy stress coping mechanisms. Instead, turn to practices that promote mental and physical wellness, such as meditation, journaling, yoga, etc.
Managing stress when you’re always working could be tricky but not impossible. Explore some of the most effective ways to deal with stress when busy. In turn, you increase your protection against hypertension.
- Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly
Check your blood pressure about twice a day if you have hypertension. Since there’s a likelihood that you might experience high blood pressure without any symptoms, monitoring your readings using an at-home device increases your protection against stroke and heart attack.
- Smoke and Drink Heavily
Nicotine in tobacco products raises blood pressure as it narrows the blood vessels. Drinking too much alcohol has the same effect.
With these data, you should give up smoking entirely if you have hypertension or even just the risk for the condition. Additionally, regulating your alcohol intake or dropping the habit altogether will be good for your heart.
While there are debates about heat health and alcohol consumption, one study by the American College of Cardiology shows that even moderate drinking can have an adverse effect on your blood pressure.
- Skip Your Medications
Once your doctor gives prescription medications, follow the recommended intake and hypertensive drug. Taking control of your heart health means creating a partnership with your healthcare provider. Follow the treatment plan and be consistent with it.
Managing hypertension requires commitment and steadfastness in pushing down triggers. While reducing your blood pressure instantly can be challenging, you can turn to home remedies that prevent the condition from escalating while waiting for a medical response. On top of that, make the necessary lifestyle changes to treat hypertension, giving you more control of your health.