Lifestyle changes are often recommend first when treating hypertension. Losing weight, exercising more, and cutting back on salt can all help lower blood pressure. Treatment may also include dietary changes and drinking less alcohol. While these lifestyle changes may be enough for some people, others may require medications for hypertension, such as diuretics.
Hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) is all too common in the United States. About 65 million American adults have the condition. Treatment for hypertension includes a combination of lifestyle changes and, in many cases, medication. Together, these can help control hypertension for many people and get them closer to a normal blood pressure. By getting the disease under control, people can lower their chances for developing:
Lifestyle Changes as Part of Treating HypertensionLifestyle changes that may play a part in hypertension treatment include:
- Being more physically active (walking 30 minutes each day can help)
- Following a healthy eating plan that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods (see DASH Diet)
- Losing weight (if you're overweight, even losing 10 pounds can help)
- Eating foods with less salt and sodium
- Drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation.
In addition to lifestyle changes, some people may need to take medication as part of their hypertension treatment plan. There are many different types of medications, and each one works in a slightly different way. People often react to medications in different ways, so you may need to try a few different medications before your doctor finds the best one for you.
If your doctor prescribes medication to treat hypertension, it's important to take your pills exactly as directed. Even if you feel well, you still need to take your medicine. It is impossible to feel the damage that could be occurring inside of your body until it is too late.