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What is the self-care?

Written by : DoctorNDTV Team

Lifestyle changes can help control and prevent high blood pressure, even if one is on blood pressure medication.

  1. Eat healthy foods - try a diet, which emphasises fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods. Get plenty of potassium, which can help prevent and control high blood pressure. Eat less saturated fat and total fat. Limit the amount of sodium in the diet. Avoid coffee and colas.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight - if overweight, losing even 5 pounds can lower blood pressure.
  3. Increase physical activity - regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure and keep weight under control. Strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
  4. Limit alcohol - even if you're healthy, alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  5. Don't smoke - tobacco injures blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. So quit smoking.
  6. Manage stress - reduce stress as much as possible. Practice healthy coping techniques, such as muscle relaxation and deep breathing. Getting plenty of sleep can help, too.
Changing your lifestyle can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure. But sometimes lifestyle changes aren't enough. In addition to diet and exercise, the doctor may recommend medication to lower blood pressure. Which category of medication the doctor prescribes depends on the stage of high blood pressure and whether or not you also have other medical conditions. To reduce the number of doses you need a day, which can reduce side effects, the doctor may prescribe a combination of low-dose medications rather than larger doses of one single drug. In fact, two or more blood pressure drugs often work better than one. Sometimes finding the most effective medication - or combination of drugs - is a matter of trial and error.

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