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What Are the Causes of High Blood Pressure? How Can You Get Your Blood Pressure Down Quickly? 

High blood pressure can be prevented by certain lifestyle changes. (Photo by SHVETS production via pexels)
High blood pressure can be prevented by certain lifestyle changes. (Photo by SHVETS production via pexels)

High blood pressure or hypertension is a very common health condition among adults today.

It's a condition in which the force of blood against the artery walls gets high and eventually leads to several cardiovascular problems, including heart disease, strokes, heart attacks and so on.

High blood pressure is very dangerous, as it makes your heart pump blood out to the body powerfully and also leads to kidney problems, heart failure, hardening of arteries, stroke, etc.


What are the causes of high blood pressure?

Hypertension generally develops over time and can happen due to unhealthy choices. Though the exact cause of high blood pressure is unknown, there are certain things that may lead to it, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Consuming too much salt
  • Physical inactivity
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Old age
  • Sleep apnea
  • History of blood pressure in the family
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid

Fortunately, high blood pressure can be detected easily, and once detected early enough, you can consult a doctor and seek medical treatment immediately.

Apart from medical treatment, there are various other ways that can help get your blood pressure down quickly. Although it won’t be possible for you to lower your blood pressure immediately, certain lifestyle changes can help control your blood pressure and avoid blood pressure spikes in the future.

Here are a few things you can do to lower your high blood pressure:

1) Exercise daily

Physical activity, such as 30 minutes of walking three to four days a week, cycling, swimming, or any exercise that gets your heart rate up can potentially lower your blood pressure.

However, it’s equally important to be consistent and regular because if you are not consistent, your blood pressure can spike again.


2) Maintain your weight

One major cause of high blood pressure is weight. Blood pressure often increases as your weight increases, so it's very important to maintain your waistline.

Being overweight or obese can cause breathing issues while you sleep, which may lead to sleep apnea and heart problems. Weight loss is an effective lifestyle change that can potentially help prevent blood pressure problems. Even shedding a small amount of weight can be beneficial.


3) Always have a healthy diet

A very significant thing that you can do to lower your blood pressure is to have a healthy and nutritious diet.

Consuming a diet rich in essential nutrients, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, vegetables and fruits can be helpful in maintaining your blood pressure.


4) Quit smoking

Another way to prevent hypertension is to quit smoking.

Quitting smoking not only lowers your blood pressure but also reduces the risk of heart disease and promotes overall health. Various studies suggest that people who don’t smoke live a longer and healthier life than people who smoke.


5) Avoid salty foods

Excessive salt or sodium is also a major cause of high blood pressure.

Even a small reduction in these items in your diet can help promote heart health and reduce blood pressure to a great extent. Studies suggest that reducing salt in your diet reduces blood pressure by up to 5 mm Hg.

Though the effect of salt intake on blood pressure varies from person to person, the most ideal dosage of salt for adults is 1,500 mg a day.


6) Avoid stress and anxiety

Chronic stress and anxiety may spike blood pressure levels and can become even worse if you drink alcohol, smoke or have unhealthy or junk food.

If you want to prevent hypertension issues, take some time to think about the major reasons for your stress.

Is it your work, family, illness, finances etc.? Once you know the root cause, talk to someone about your problems and consider how you can get rid of them.


Summary

For some people, making small changes in their lifestyle and eating habits is enough to keep their blood pressure in control.

Many people, though, require proper medical assistance and medications. Therefore, it’s important to check your blood pressure regularly and track your numbers.

If your blood pressure gets very high and reaches between 180/120, or if you experience severe chest pain, changes in your vision, trouble speaking, weakness and shortness of breath, contact your doctor immediately.

Edited by Bhargav
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