How to Lower High Blood Pressure Without Using Medication

High blood pressure is a common medical condition. Depending on the level of your blood pressure, you may need to take medication to get it under control. Once high blood pressure (HBP) is under control with medication, you can try using lifestyle techniques to lower your blood pressure and reduce your need for the medication. Using techniques like changes to your diet and lifestyle in combination with medication will help you manage your condition and stay healthy.

EditSteps
EditReducing Your Salt Intake
Don’t add excess salt to your foods. Avoid adding more than a pinch of salt to your food when you cook it and don’t add salt once you are getting ready to eat. You need a small amount of salt in your diet, but you will get more than enough through the prepared foods that you eat and the small amounts you add to your food.[1]
Adding excess salt will only cause you to retain excess fluids, which causes high blood pressure.

Keep in mind that seas salt and kosher salt have the same amount of sodium as regular table salt.[2]
Salt makes your body retain fluid, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure.

Avoid eating processed foods. Processed foods are typically loaded with salt and other additives, such as the preservative sodium benzoate. Remember, it’s not just the salt that you put on your food while cooking or at the table, it’s also the amount of sodium that’s in the prepared foods that you buy.[3]
Sodium causes your body to retain water, which can increase your blood pressure. It is usually listed on the nutritional breakdown on the label of prepared foods.[4]
Read labels and buy low-salt, low-sodium, or unsalted foods.

Foods that commonly have a ton of salt in them are prepared, canned, and bottled foods. These include meats, pickles, olives, soups, chili, bacon, ham, sausage, bakery products, and meats with added water, which will have a higher sodium content. Also, avoid prepared condiments, such as prepared mustard, salsa, chile sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce and other sauces.

Track your sodium levels. Many American diets include up to 5000 milligrams (5g) of sodium daily, which nearly all medical professionals consider extremely unhealthy. While you usually can’t, and don’t want to, cut out all sodium, it’s important to try to get to below 2 g (2000 mg) per day. To do this, track your total daily intake of salt/sodium, and make sure you are avoiding as much sodium as you can.[5]
To track how much sodium you have eaten it’s a good idea to keep a food journal or use a tracking app. There are a variety of fitness and health apps that will allow you to track your sodium intake throughout the day.

A low-sodium diet usually consists of eating between 0 mg and 1400 mg of salt a day. A moderate sodium diet will have between 1400 mg and 4000 mg a day. A high-sodium diet is anything over 4000 mg per day.

Keep in mind that sea salt and kosher salt contain the same amount of sodium as table salt.[6] Salt substitutes contain potassium chloride, which is not safe for some people, so you may want to avoid it. Instead, look into sodium-free alternatives to replace salt in your diet, such as lemon juice, flavored vinegar, fresh herbs, and salt-free herb and spice blends.[7]
Note that the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of sodium is about 2500 mg.

EditChanging Your Diet
Eat a moderate, lean diet. When trying to lower your blood pressure, it’s important to focus on moderation and eating a balanced diet. Try eating a plant-based diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and few meats, milk products, and eggs.[8]
Try to have at least 1 meal each day that doesn’t include meat and mainly consists of fruits and vegetables. For example, you could have a salad for lunch that consists of several cups of leafy greens and is covered in a variety raw vegetables and seeds, such as carrots, cucumbers, celery, and sunflower seeds.[9]
When you do eat meat and fish, make sure it is a lean type, such as chicken or salmon without the skin. When you eat or drink dairy products, make sure you are picking low-fat options.

Avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat. This means you should avoid candy bars, processed carbs, and red meats. These foods may be delicious but they provide little nutritional value, and you can get what value they have from healthier choices.[10]
Instead of eating red meat, eat healthier meats like chicken or fish.

If you have a craving for sugar, eat a piece of fruit instead of a piece of candy.

Increase your fiber intake. Fiber won’t lower your blood pressure on its own, but it helps to regulate your digestion and keep you healthy in general. Most vegetables are high in fiber, especially those with leafy greens. Many fruits, nuts, and legumes (beans and peas) are also rich in fiber, as are whole-grain products.
Some of the best foods you can eat to increase your fiber include pears, strawberries, avocados, apples, carrots, beets, broccoli, lentils, and kidney beans.[11]
It is recommended that you eat 8 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits each day, so vary the foods you eat when adding fiber to your diet.[12]

Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The typical American diet is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), and restoring some balance here may naturally reduce your blood pressure. Consume fish twice a week or more, as they will provide you with omega-3 fatty acids, lower fats called triglycerides, and promote overall heart health.[13]
Fish is high in protein, and many types of fish, including salmon, mackerel, and herring, also have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids are highest in the oils of the fish, so if you eat canned fish, don’t discard the oil. Eat it along with the fish!

It is recommended that you eat only one or two servings of lean meat, including fish, each day.[14]
You can also take fish oil tablets regularly to get more omega-3 fatty acids. However, do research on the fish oil tablet product you take. There are some concerns about raised levels of mercury from certain processed fish products.

Increase your intake of dietary potassium. Too much potassium can be harmful, but some is necessary. Aim for 3500 and 4700 mg of potassium a day. You may need more potassium if you are active, and less if you are elderly or sick. Some foods that are naturally high in potassium include:[15]
Bananas

Tomatoes/tomato juice

Potatoes

Beans

Onions

Oranges

Fresh and dried fruits

Talk to your doctor about adding supplements to your diet. Check with your doctor to see whether a natural remedy may help lower your blood pressure. Many natural remedies have scientific evidence to show that they can lower high blood pressure, but you should never attempt to replace your blood pressure medication without talking with your doctor.[16]
The top supplements may assist in lowering blood pressure are coenzyme Q10, omega-3, fish oil, garlic, curcumin (from turmeric), ginger, cayenne, olive oil, nuts, black cohosh, hawthorn, magnesium and chromium. Ask your doctor if these are safe for you to take.

Vitamins like B12, B6 and B9 can help lower homocysteine levels in the blood. High homocysteine levels can lead to heart problems.[17]

EditMinimizing Stimulation
Stop smoking. Stimulants in cigarette smoke, like nicotine, can increase blood pressure. If you stop smoking, you may be able to lower your blood pressure, help your heart to become healthier, and reduce your chances of getting other diseases, including lung cancer.[18]
If you are having a hard time quitting smoking, talk to your doctor about how they can help you. They may be able to prescribe you medication that will help you quit and steer you towards programs that will help as well.

Use less caffeine. Stopping drinking coffee, soda pop, and other caffeinated beverages will lower your blood pressure. Even 1 or 2 cups of coffee can raise blood pressure to an unhealthy level, so it’s best to cut it out completely.[19]
If a person already has hypertension, caffeine complicates the problem further because it is a nervous system stimulant. Thus, agitated nerves cause the heart to beat faster, which raises the blood pressure.

If you are a person who drinks a lot of caffeine (more than 4 caffeinated drinks a day), you may need to taper yourself off caffeine to prevent withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches.

Lose weight. Carrying around extra weight causes your heart to work harder all the time and this increases your blood pressure. By losing this extra weight, through changes to your diet and exercising more often, your heart won’t have to beat as hard and you’ll lower your blood pressure.[20]

Avoid recreational use of drugs and alcohol. Excessive use of drugs and alcohol can damage many organs in the body, including the liver and the kidneys. This may contribute to high blood pressure.[21]
Many drugs are stimulants. These cause the heart to beat faster and the blood pressure to go up. By cutting out drugs and alcohol, you’ll succeed in reducing your blood pressure.

Monitor your blood pressure and talk with your doctor. A medical professional can check your blood pressure by using a sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope, or you can check it yourself using an automatic blood pressure monitoring device. If you have concerns about your blood pressure, talk to your doctor to determine what treatment options may work best for you. Blood pressure is usually divided into categories, which include:[22]
Normal blood pressure: below 120/80

Pre-hypertension blood pressure: 120-139/80-89

First stage hypertension: 140-159/90-99

Second stage hypertension: 160/100 and above

EditFocusing on Relaxation
Reduce chronic stress. Minimize daily stressors, if possible, such as being involved with high stakes business dealings. If you are under chronic stress where you produce that stress hormone every day, then your cardiovascular system will naturally go into a state where it is overworking.[23]
This overworking happens because the stress hormone increases your pulse, respiration, and heart rate. Your body thinks you need to either fight or run and is naturally getting your body ready do one of those things.

Many people have a temporary rise in blood pressure when under stress. If you have high blood pressure because you are overweight or have a family history of hypertension, then stress raises it that much more. This is because your adrenal gland releases stress hormones which tend to cause your cardiovascular system to overwork.

Take a relaxing bath or shower to reduce your blood pressure. Taking a soaking hot bath or hot shower for 15 minutes can actually suppress your blood pressure for several hours. Taking a hot bath just prior to bedtime can help the body retain lower blood pressure for hours or even the entire night.

Meditate to calm yourself and reduce your blood pressure. Take time every day to calm yourself, as this can reduce your overall stress. Simply observing and slowing the respiration rate produces a significant reduction in blood pressure.
When you are meditating, you can simply focus on breathing deeply and slowly. Do this until you fall asleep or you feel relaxed.[24]

Take a walk or do some other type of exercise every day. Walk every day for at least 20 to 30 minutes at a moderate speed of about . Study after study has demonstrated that the mere act of walking has a suppression effect on hypertension.[25]
Can’t walk outside? Use a treadmill inside. The advantage is that you can walk even as it rains or snows outside. You can even walk in your pajamas without the neighbors seeing you!

Taking a long walk will take the edge off a stressful day long before bedtime. Make time for decompressing each and every day.

EditWarnings
If your blood pressure stays at or above 140 mmHg over 90 mmHg (140/90) while watching your pressure and using these tips, you should see your doctor.[26]
The consequences of untreated or unchecked hypertension include increased risks of heart muscle thickening and hardening, diabetes, nerve damage, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.

EditRelated wikiHows
Buy a Blood Pressure Cuff

Eat to Lower Blood Pressure

Check Your Blood Pressure with a Sphygmomanometer

Lower Your Cholesterol

Control High Blood Pressure

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Today in History for 19th December 2018

Historical Events

1861 – Battle of Black Water (American Civil War)
1884 – Italy recognizes King Leopold II’s Congo Free State
1922 – Theresa Vaughn, 24, confesses in court in Sheffield, England, to being married 61 times over 5 years in 50 cities in three countries
1941 – US Office of Censorship created to control info pertaining to WW II
1978 – Indira Gandhi ambushed in India
1984 – Scotty Bowman wins his 691st regular season game, the most wins by any coach in NHL history

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1714 – John Winthrop, American astronomer (d. 1779)
1902 – Ralph Richardson, English actor (Anna Karenina, Doctor Zhivago), born in Cheltenham, England (d. 1983)
1957 – John Gulager, American film director and actor (He Was a Quiet Man), born in NYC, New York
1959 – Kathryn “Furu” Carpenter, Marshall Mich, fencer-epee (Olympics 1996)
1964 – Beatrice Dalle, French actress (Betty Blue, Sabbath), born in Breast
1982 – Tero Pitkamaki, Finnish javelin thrower

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1741 – Vitus Bering, Danish navigator and explorer (explored Bering Strait and Alaska coast), dies after being shipwrecked at 60
1814 – Joseph Bramah, Inventor and Locksmith, notably invented the beer pump
1878 – Bayard Taylor, American author and poet (b. 1825)
1953 – Robert A. Millikan, American physicist (Nobel 1923), dies at 85
1982 – Dwight Macdonald, American social critic (b. 1906)
1993 – Michael Clarke, drummer (Byrds), dies of liver failure at 49

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Dress a Baby in Winter

Dress your baby in layers during the winter to keep them warm and comfortable. If you think your baby is getting too hot, you can easily remove a layer. To keep your baby comfortable at night in the wintertime, put them in footed pajamas and a wearable blanket. Always remember to avoid putting blankets or pillows in the crib until your baby is at least 1 year old.

EditSteps
EditDressing Your Baby for Indoors
Put a soft cotton onesie on your baby. For the first layer, dress your baby in a comfortable onesie made of a breathable fabric such as wool or cotton. This will help moisture escape so your baby stays warm and dry.[1]
While you can dress your baby in a short-sleeve onesie as long as they’re very well layered, try to use long-sleeved onesies for the best coverage.

Add fleece pants to the outfit. To add another insulating layer, dress your baby in pants to help trap warmth. Select fleece pants with a snug waist band so they don’t slide down your baby’s torso.[2]
For the warmest pants, look for ones with that extend and cover the feet.

Add a light jacket or sweater. Since most baby onesies are thin, dress your baby in another layer such as a thin fleece jacket or long-sleeved sweater. Pick a jacket or sweater that’s soft. If your baby gets too warm, you can easily take off the jacket to remove a layer.[3]
For example, once your baby has a long-sleeve onesie on, put on a pair of pants and a light, fleece sweater.

Put warm socks on the baby. If you’re dressing your baby in a bodysuit, look for one with attached feet covers. If you’re layering your baby in a onesie and pants, put a pair of warm socks on their feet. Try to choose socks with slightly elastic bands that won’t slide off the baby’s feet.[4]

EditAdding Layers for Taking Your Baby Outdoors
Button your newborn to 6-month-old in a baby bunting. If you want to take your baby outside in the winter, they’ll need a few more layers to stay warm. Once you’ve dressed them in a few light layers, put them in a polyester or down-filled baby bunting.[5]
If you have a newborn, you’ll also need to wrap them in a blanket.

Add a coat or snowsuit for 6- to 12-month-olds. To take an older baby outdoors in winter, choose a coat or snowsuit filled with polyester or down. Look for one that has a hood attached so you can easily put it up over your baby’s head.[6]
The hood should completely cover your baby’s ears as well. If it doesn’t, put a fleece hat on your baby’s head under the hood.

Avoid putting a coat on the baby if you’re putting them in a car seat. Bulky coats or puffy jackets will flatten instantly if there’s a car crash which will leave a gap between the baby and the car seat harness. Instead, buckle your baby into their car seat and then lay a blanket or coat over the baby.[7]
To make it easier to get your baby into their car seat in the winter, keep the seat in the house. Buckle the baby into it and lay the blanket over them. Then you can quickly carry the baby in the car seat to the car once you’re ready to go.

Cover your baby’s head and ears with a warm hat. Look for a hat that will go down over the ears or that has ear flaps. Feel the inside of the hat to ensure the fabric isn’t scratchy and won’t irritate your baby. Many baby hats are lined with fleece so they’re comfortable and insulated.[8]
Choose a hat that has a Velcro strap and use it to secure the hat under your baby’s chin. This way they’re less likely to pull the hat off.

Put mittens on the baby’s hands when they’ll be outside. Since babies have such small fingers, they get cold very quickly. To protect their hands, put thick mittens on them. Choose mittens that your baby won’t be able to pull off easily.[9]
Avoid trying to put gloves on your older baby since it will be too difficult to get the individual fingers into them.

If your newborn’s onesie has hand covers near the cuffs, fold them over the hands for an extra layer of protection.

Put boots on your baby to keep their feet warm. Cover your baby’s feet with thick socks and then put their baby boots on. These sturdy boots will prevent their feet from getting too cold in the winter.[10]
It may be hard to find thick winter boots for small babies, so you may need to put several layers of socks under their booties if you can’t find boots.

EditKeeping Your Baby Warm at Night
Choose footed pajamas to put your baby in before bed. Put your baby in a footed cotton onesie that covers their arms, legs, and feet. If your baby’s room is very cold, you can also put a sleeveless onesie or vest on the baby under the pajama onesie.[11]
If you co-sleep with your baby, they probably don’t need very heavy pajamas. Instead, dress them in lighter pajamas and avoid layering.

Check your baby’s back or tummy to see if they’re cool. The best way to determine if your baby is warm enough is to feel their back or tummy. It should feel warm, not cool or sweaty. If your child’s hair or face is sweaty, they’re probably too hot.[12]
Don’t use the temperature of your baby’s hands or feet to determine if they’re cold since these are normally a little cooler than the rest of the body.

Zip or button your baby into a wearable blanket if their room is cold. While some baby sleep bags are one-size fits all, others are available in sizes to fit your baby. Set your baby in their light pajamas into the wearable blanket and then zip or snap them in. Many of these also have Velcro wraps that you can tuck around the baby so they feel swaddled.[13]
Don’t dress your baby in several layers of pajamas before putting them in the wearable blanket or they may overheat.

Avoid putting blankets, pillows, and loose bedding in the crib. It’s tempting to think that your baby will be cozier if there are quilts, pillows, or blankets in their crib. Unfortunately, having loose bedding in the crib can cause babies to suffocate if they can’t push the item away from their face. Instead, just cover the mattress with a sheet and place the baby in the crib.[14]
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until your baby turns 1 before putting a blanket in their crib.

You can make your baby’s crib a little warmer by putting a flannel fitted sheet on the mattress in winter.

EditTips
The temperature of your baby’s room should be between and at night.

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