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8 Effective Tips to control High Blood Pressure & Resistant Hypertension

Updated on May 1, 2011

Factors associated with High Blood Pressure & Resistant Hypertension

Obesity: It is a common characteristic of patients with high BP (Blood Pressure) and Resistant Hypertension. Obese persons tend to have more severe hypertension. This follows a greater risk of having an increased number of medications, and an increased risk of not achieving good BP control.

Heavy Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol intake leads to severely high BP and hypertension or even Resistant Hypertension.

Excessive Dietary Sodium: This is not only directly responsible for high BP but also inhibits the effects of Blood Pressure lowering medications. Taking too much sodium (more than 2.3 grams or the amount found in 1 tsp of common salt) causes your body to retain water, which increases the volume of blood flow.

Certain Drugs: Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen are associated with poor BP control. Regular use of such drugs – especially in high doses leads to modest but predictable increase of about 5 mm Hg in arterial Blood Pressure. It also inhibits the efficacy of BP lowering medications like diuretics, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and beta receptor blockers.

You can check your BP at your home with a home BP monitor. Read the article “How to Buy a Home Blood Pressure Monitor” for more information.

8 Effective Tips to control High Blood Pressure & Resistant Hypertension

  • Getting rid of the excess baggage: In all patients with high BP, weight loss – either through dieting or, in more extreme cases, bariatric surgery – is highly beneficial. A recent review of weight-loss studies report that a 10 Kg weight loss is associated with an average 6 mm Hg reduction in systolic BP and a 4.6 mm Hg reduction in diastolic BP.
  • Cutting sodium intake: Excessive sodium results in an increased volume of blood in the arteries. In addition, your small arteries constrict, which produces a greater resistance to blood flow. These effects are especially significant in salt-sensitive patients who tend to be elderly or have chronic kidney problems. It’s possible to take in so much sodium that BP remains high despite use of diuretic medications. No more than 1.5 grams of sodium per day is essential for everyone with Resistant Hypertension. A study showed that a low-sodium diet was associated with an average decrease of 22.6 mm Hg in systolic BP and 9.2 mm Hg in diastolic BP.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption: It can also significantly improve BP control. Men with high BP should consume no more than two drinks per day and woman should limit themselves to no more than one drink per day.
  • Getting more active: A minimum 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week can produce significant beneficial changes in your BP. In a small study of men with severe hypertension who were taking up to three anti-hypertensive medications, 16 weeks of stationary bicycling three times per week lowered systolic BP by 5 mm Hg and diastolic BP by 7 mm Hg.

  • Watching your intake: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables (9 – 12 servings per day), high in low fat dairy products (2 – 3 servings per day), potassium, magnesium and calcium, and low in saturated fat. The most well studied diet – the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) program – has been shown to reduce systolic BP by 11.4 mm Hg and diastolic BP by 5.5 mm Hg. This is a diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, legumes, leafy greens, and other vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. Also effective is the “Mediterranean Diet” rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, fish, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products; this diet is low in saturated fat and discourages consumption of processed foods such as white flour and refined sugar.
  • Trying complementary therapy: Stress reduction has been shown to reduce BP. Well-designed trials have reported benefits from practices such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi. You may also try biofeedback and acupuncture.
  • Identifying secondary causes of hypertension: Secondary causes of hypertension such as sleep apnea or kidney disease should be treated if diagnosed. Treating them may have a beneficial effect on your BP.
  • Changing your drug regimen: If BP is still dangerously high despite these interventions, the next step is to maximize diuretic therapy in combination with other classes of anti-hypertensive medications.

Click here for more information on Resistant Hypertension and High Blood Pressure.


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    • Pixienot profile image

      Pixienot 6 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana

      Very good hub. Informative.

      Voted up and useful.

    • andycool profile image

      andycool 6 years ago from the U.S.

      Thanks Pixienot for your positive feedback! I'm feeling encouraged to write more such hubs in future. Love & Peace :)

    • Loreva13 profile image

      Lorenzo M Vasquez III 6 years ago from El Paso, TX

      This is good information, high blood pressure runs in my family so this is definitely good to know!

    • andycool profile image

      andycool 6 years ago from the U.S.

      Thank you Loreva13 for reading the hub and liking it! - andycool

    • profile image

      hiit 5 years ago

      Very interesting hub, regards for posting.

      Ron from

    • filmchick1987 profile image

      filmchick1987 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi, do you have any recommendations for people trying to counteract excessive weight when they have so little energy? My mothers suffers from high blood pressure, because she is overweight. However, she gets tired so easily that she can't do much exercise to lose it. Any pointers? Thanks :)

    • andycool profile image

      andycool 5 years ago from the U.S.

      If your mother is overweight for no specific reason or disorder like thyroid problem or excessive alcohol consumption then it's a problem. I would recommend to reduce weight by eliminating any such reason or disorder that might be there first and then focusing on lighter workouts initially. As you know there is no alternative to exercise, your eventual goal should be to enable your mother for workouts. Wish you best of luck! - Andy

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