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Shippy's avatar

What are some good ways to alleviate not so high blood pressure?

Asked by Shippy (9857 points ) October 6th, 2012

Would foods that have diuretic effects assist for example?

What other natural ways could help bring down high blood pressure.

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12 Answers

chyna's avatar

Cut back on your salt or sodium intake. If overweight, lose some weight. Exercise.

Sunny2's avatar

You might try meditating. I hear that helps because of its calming effect.

woodcutter's avatar

You could try an aspirin regimen

geeky_mama's avatar

I second @Sunny2‘s suggestion—meditation and visualization has been known to help alleviate elevated blood pressure.
Here’s a program about it.

I’ve used a visualization where I imagine cold water on my head (I’m not explaining it as elegantly as the therapist that provided it to me…but I’ve seen it work a bit for me firsthand)..
That said, you can visualize and lower your BP..but as soon as you return to normal life (e.g. get behind the wheel of a car, go back to your desk at work, etc.) your elevated BP is going to come right back, too.

Foods/drinks with a diuretic effect do not improve hypertension per se – the pill that people think of as being a diuretic (often referred to as a “water pill”) is actually hydrochlorothiazide – which actually causes your body to eliminate more salts—not exactly the same sort of diuretic like those found in coffee or tea, for example.

Also, for some people (like me) hydrochlorothiazide does nothing at all to lower their blood pressure. It depends very much on the root cause of your hypertension. I found out that I shared abnormal heart rhythms, AF (atrial fibrillation) and high blood pressure that could only be controlled with beta-adrenergic blocking agents – same as my grandma, dad and aunts & uncles. (everyone on my dad’s side of the family, essentially).

So..I could do all the visualization, breathing exercises, be cardiovascularly super fit and at a perfectly normal weight & BMI, and still have high blood pressure. Even taking a quite high dosage of hydrochlorothiazide and eating a low-sodium diet had absolutely zero effect on my BP. (In fact, that pretty much sums up my life from age 18 to 38…never had a normal BP no matter what..and that was when I was 5’5” and all of 105lbs, exercised frequently and was a vegetarian for nearly a decade..I still had an abnormal heart rhythm, still had high BP..)

All that lengthy story to just say.. I think figuring out the root cause of your elevated blood pressure is most important. Nothing was going to work for me except a particular dosage of a particular beta blocker. So..you can try naturopathic, meditation/visualization and diet changes…but if and when this doesn’t consistently resolve your BP..you might need a medical professional to help you figure out the bigger picture.

gailcalled's avatar

Here are ten straightforward and unsurprising suggestions from the Mayo Clinic.

To lower blood pressure

Are you talking about high blood pressure or not-so-high blood pressure (which, to me, means normal numbers for your age)?

What are your numbers?

Judi's avatar

Yoga

flutherother's avatar

Be careful with your salt intake. We take far too much salt in our diets especially in processed foods. The label on the packet might surprise you. Eating bananas will also help as the potassium content helps balance the sodium in the salt. Exercise is also recommended but try to find something you enjoy doing. Finally mental attitude is important. Be calm, enjoy life.

PS Are you familiar with ‘white coat syndrome’? Some people get naturally stressed in the presence of doctors which causes their blood pressure to shoot up giving a false reading.

Shippy's avatar

Thanks everyone, mine is 160/93. Unusual for me it’s normally perfect. Going to watch my salt and stress!

Judi's avatar

Also exercise.

gailcalled's avatar

When I am in the waiting room and preparing to see the doctor, I no longer read mazagines or second guess the outcome of the appointment. Instead. I sit up straight, put my arms (palms facing up) on the chair arms and practice diaphragmatic breathing. Often I shut my eyes.

It helps to counteract the fretting.

wundayatta's avatar

There is a caveat on the salt intake watch. If you are taking Lithium, then you don’t have to worry about salt intake. That’s because the lithium is taking the place of salt, and in fact, you need to up your intake of salt. You’re not getting enough. You probably can’t get enough.

In any case, if you have high blood pressure, it seems to me you should discuss it with a physician. I’m on two different blood pressure meds, in addition to being on Lithium.

Shippy's avatar

@wundayatta No I’m not on lithium, we hardly use it here in S.A. Unless I am being daft. I am sure they are derivatives of lithium though.

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