Controlling High Blood Pressure
The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of complications. You and your health care provider should set a blood pressure goal for you.
You can do many things to help control your blood pressure at home, including:
- Eating a heart-healthy diet, including potassium and fiber.
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Exercising regularly for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day.
- If you smoke, quit.
- Limiting how much alcohol you drink to one drink a day for women and two a day for men.
- Limiting the amount of sodium (salt) you eat — aim for less than 1,500 mg per day.
- Reducing stress. Try to avoid things that cause you stress and try meditation or yoga to de-stress.
- Staying at a healthy body weight.
Usually people also need medications to help control their blood pressure. There are many different medicines to treat high blood pressure.
- Often, a single blood pressure drug may not be enough to control your blood pressure, and you may need to take two or more drugs.
- It is very important that you take the medicines prescribed to you, even if you do not feel like your blood pressure is high.
- If you have side effects, let your doctor know so they can prescribe a different medicine.
Your doctor may ask you to keep track of your blood pressure at home. If you monitor your blood pressure at home, keep a written record. Bring the results to your doctor visits.
Last Physician Review - January 13, 2015