If you face any complications of high blood pressure such as a stroke or heart attack, contact your physician without any delay. Do not attempt home remedies in such grave situations. If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), without any complications, the first thing to do is to calm down and lie flat. Leave aside the task you were engaged in and slowly start taking deep breaths. This stress-relieving technique helps to bring down blood pressure to a certain extent. If calming techniques don’t help, then consult a physician immediately. Additionally, do not forget to take your antihypertensive medications for blood pressure that is uncontrolled by lifestyle changes and diet.
Medication is the main option for treating high blood pressure. As blood pressure improves with lifestyle modifications, medications can be withdrawn gradually. Medications in combination with a healthy diet reduce the risk of a stroke, a heart attack, and other complications.
How to lower your blood pressure immediately without medication
There are a few tips you can try to lower your blood pressure immediately without medication:
- Take a deep breath and try to relax. Stress and anxiety can raise your blood pressure, so taking a moment to calm down can help lower it. Learning breath exercises that slow your heart rate and promote relaxation.
- Drink some water. Dehydration can cause your blood pressure to rise, so drinking a glass of water can help.
- Try some physical activity. Going for a walk or doing some light stretching can help lower your blood pressure. Try to do regular exercise.
- Eat some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which have been shown to lower blood pressure. Just be sure to eat it in moderation.
- Take a cold shower. Cold water can cause your blood vessels to constrict, which can lower your blood pressure.
- Stop smoking and limit alcohol
It's important to note that these methods may only provide temporary relief and are not a substitute for medical treatment. If you are concerned about your blood pressure, you should speak with a healthcare provider. They can recommend a treatment plan that is appropriate for you.
How do you get the bottom blood pressure number down?
When it comes to blood pressure readings, the bottom number is called diastolic blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of your arteries when your heart is in a relaxed state.
To get your diastolic blood pressure to go down, you can’t target it alone. You will need to work on getting your overall blood pressure lower.
Here are 13 lifestyle changes that can help you lower your blood pressure.
13 ways to lower your blood pressure
1. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight is a major risk factor for high blood pressure. You will need to maintain a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5-24.9 kg/m2.
2. Reduce central obesity
Having excess fat around the waistline puts you at risk of hypertension and related heart disease. You can reduce the fat around your middle through various exercises, including jogging, walking, hiking, rowing, swimming, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
3. Stay physically active
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends doing 90-150 minutes of physical activity spread throughout the week or at least 30 minutes each day for at least 5 days a week.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking causes the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels which leads to high blood pressure. Try to quit smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Ask your doctor if you need help figuring out the best way to do this. Joining a program designed to help you quit smoking may help.
5. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep increases your chances of developing health conditions that cause high blood pressure. Try to get between 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night.
6. Manage stress
Stress releases hormones that temporarily raise blood pressure. Learn to manage stress by doing activities that relax you and make you feel good. These may include simple things like taking a long walk in nature, listening to music, or pursuing hobbies you enjoy. You can also try deep breathing and meditation techniques.
7. Eat heart-healthy foods
Include heart-healthy foods in your diet:
- Whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products
- Fatty fish
- Lean meat
- Skinless chicken or turkey
8. Stay away from saturated and trans fats
Avoid foods that are loaded with saturated and trans fats, like fast food, fried food, and instant and frozen foods.
9. Reduce your sodium intake
Keep an eye on how much salt you eat, since salt can increase blood pressure. Limit your salt intake to 1,500 milligrams or less per day. Avoid packaged, processed foods that typically contain more sodium.
10. Increase your potassium intake
Potassium can counteract the effects of sodium on blood pressure. Include potassium-rich foods in your daily diet, like bananas and spinach
11. Avoid too much sugar
Avoid foods and drinks that contain added sugars, like soft drinks, cakes, pastries, cookies, and candies.
12. Cut back on caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine can increase blood pressure. If you are suffering from high blood pressure already, avoid anything containing caffeine before exercising.
Drink alcohol in moderation. If you are healthy, follow these general guidelines:
- Men: no more than 2 drinks per day
- Women: no more than 1 drink per day
13. Take medications as prescribed
Take your blood pressure medications as prescribed. To avoid skipping them by accident, set reminders on your phone to make sure you take them on time.
What are the other ways to lower blood pressure?
Lifestyle changes are effective in controlling high blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle can avoid, delay, or reduce the need for blood pressure medications.
Here are some lifestyle changes that may help to lower blood pressure:
Weight loss: Obesity can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Weight loss has been the most effective way of reducing blood pressure.
Daily exercises: Daily exercise is an excellent way to lose fat and reduce high blood pressure. Exercising daily for 30 minutes can bring down the blood pressure by about 5-8 mmHg.
Reduce sodium intake: Most Americans consume about 3,400 mg of sodium a day, whereas the recommended daily intake of sodium is 2,300 mg with an optimal limit of less than 1,500 mg for those with high blood pressure.
Eat healthily: Avoid foods that contain a high amount of sodium, saturated fats, and cholesterol. This approach to stop hypertension by dietary control is known as the dietary approach to stop hypertension (DASH).
Increase potassium intake: Add more potassium to the diet because it regulates the heart rate and nullifies the effect of sodium in the body. Potassium-rich foods include:
- Fruits such as bananas, melons, avocadoes, and apricots
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
- Vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Tuna and salmon
- Nuts and seeds
Abstain from heavy alcohol drinking: Alcohol in moderation does not do much harm to the body. Do not exceed one drink a day. Avoid binge drinking.
Quit smoking: Cigarette smoking can increase blood pressure. Cutting down on smoking helps the blood pressure return to normal.
Avoid excess stress: Stress hormones or cortisol constrict the blood vessels and can lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure. Stress can also result in overeating, poor sleep, and misusing drugs and alcohol.
Regular monitoring of blood pressure at home: Monitor blood pressure at home because it avoids unnecessary stress that may occur in a clinic setting.
- Baby Boys 'Talk' More During First Year Compared to Girls
- U.S. Teen Birth Rate Hits Another Historic Low
- Cancer Survivors Who Keep Smoking Have Double the Risk for Heart-Related Death
- Need a Prostate Exam? Here's What to Expect
- Prostatitis: What It Is, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
- More Health News »
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood to the inner walls of the arteries. It shows minor fluctuations throughout the day—declining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress. An increase in resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.
The different blood pressure levels and hypertension (high blood pressure is shown in the below chart.
|Blood pressure levels||Systolic (mm Hg)||Diastolic (mm Hg)|
|Normal blood pressure||Less than 120||Less than 80|
|Elevated blood pressure or prehypertension||Between 120 to 129||Less than 80|
|Stage 1 hypertension||Between 130 to 139||Between 80 to 89|
|Stage 2 hypertension||140 or higher||90 or higher|
|Hypertensive crisis||Higher than 180||Higher than 120|
What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?
High blood pressure or hypertension is the silent killer that affects 80 million Americans. As many as 16 million Americans are unaware of the condition. Untreated hypertension can increase the risk of heart diseases or strokes. High blood pressure occurs due to the tightening of very small blood vessels called arterioles. As a result, the heart has to pump harder to overcome the resistance in the narrowed blood vessel bed. This leads to elevated pressure inside the vessels.
- High blood pressure or hypertension is when readings consistently range from 140 or higher for systolic or 90 or higher for diastolic.
- Blood pressure readings above 180/120 mmHg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention.
High blood pressure is more likely to cause
- heart attack
- heart failure
- vision loss
- kidney failure
- erectile dysfunction
- weak bones
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Heart Health Newsletter
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top How to Lower My Blood Pressure Immediately Related Articles
Blood Pressure Readings: Chart, Normal, High, LowBlood pressure is the force applied by the blood over the inner walls of the arteries. Although the average blood pressure for a person remains constant, it shows minor fluctuations throughout the day—declining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress. An increase in resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Immediately, Naturally? ChartCan you lower your high blood pressure immediately? Explore 9 ways such as exercise, healthy eating, rest, and more that can help protect your arteries from blood pressure changes as you age. See chart and learn to manage and control hypertension the healthy and natural way.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms.
Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure.
The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater.
If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.
REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
High Blood Pressure & BodyHigh blood pressure puts you at risk for a number of other conditions. Here's what to look out for.
What Is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)? Symptoms, TreatmentsWhat causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? What is normal blood pressure? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood pressure medications, diet, and long-term treatments.
HBP QuizTake this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and heart attacks. How are dizziness, snoring, and gout related to HBP? Find the answer and learn how medical treatments and lifestyle adjustments fight this common problem.
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure in Minutes?Learn how to lower your high blood pressure quickly and how to better manage this condition.
Is 110/60 a Too Low Blood Pressure?A blood pressure reading of 110/60 mmHg is usually not considered a low blood pressure.
Is 120 Over 60 a Good Blood Pressure Reading?If your systolic blood pressure is normal (between 100-120), and your diastolic blood pressure is lower (60 or below), you are considered to have low blood pressure, or isolated diastolic hypotension. Low diastolic blood pressure should be monitored closely.
Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)Low blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension, is blood pressure that is so low that it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. Some of the symptoms of low blood pressure include light-headedness, dizziness, and fainting if not enough blood is getting to the brain. Diseases and medications can also cause low blood pressure. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys; the organs do not function normally and may be permanently damaged.
How to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise and TipsTrying to lower high blood pressure (hypertension)? Discover exercises good for lowering blood pressure, along with other lifestyle changes and medications to prevent high blood pressure.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure for a 60-Year-Old?According to current guidelines from the American Heart Association, normal blood pressure for adults under the age of 65 is any blood pressure below 120/80 mmHg.
What Is the Blood Pressure of a Very Fit Person?Studies show that a very fit person who exercises regularly will have a lower resting blood pressure (usually below 120/80 mm Hg) than someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle.
What Is the Proper Way to Take Your Blood Pressure?If you want to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis, you can do so at home easily using an automated or digital blood pressure machine. Here’s how to make sure your at-home reading is accurate.
Why Is My Bottom Blood Pressure Number High?Isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH) occurs when your systolic blood pressure is normal, and only your diastolic blood pressure is high (over 80 mm Hg). Causes of high diastolic blood pressure include a high-sodium diet, obesity, lack of physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, stress and anxiety.