What is the best way to lower my blood pressure?

How can you naturally lower blood pressure?

Many people suffer from high blood pressure and take medication for it, but only few know that you can do a lot against high blood pressure yourself with a change in diet, exercise and a few tricks. Therefore, before taking medication on a regular basis, you should try to normalize your blood pressure by making a lifestyle change and only resort to medication if this fails. However, drug therapy should always be accompanied by a lifestyle change. In some cases, however, it is unavoidable to take medication, for example with very high values ​​or with certain causes of high blood pressure.
First and foremost there is weight normalization, as excessive weight is one of the main reasons for high blood pressure. This is based on the recommended BMI limit values ​​(<25 kg / m²). But even a weight loss of only 5 kg can reduce blood pressure by 3-4 mmHg. To do this, you should eat a balanced and healthy diet, exercise at least three times a week and avoid excessive stress. You should also make sure you have enough rest and sleep. Alcohol and nicotine also increase blood pressure, so it is best to avoid these substances altogether or to keep consumption within limits. Women should consume a maximum of 12 grams and men a maximum of 24 grams of alcohol (equivalent to about half a liter of beer) per day.

Home remedies for high blood pressure

There are many home remedies that can have a positive effect on blood pressure. However, this does not always lower blood pressure sufficiently, so that it may still be necessary to take medication. The means that are supposed to bring about a reduction in blood pressure include Beetroot, dark (Bitter-) chocolate (with a lot of cocoa content), Hibiscus tea and ginger, as well as cayenne pepper and the active ingredient Capsaicin which e.g. is contained in chillies. Likewise, a few should Raisins daily, or three Kiwi fruit on the day as well red potatoes achieve a blood pressure lowering effect. All these agents have also been tested in studies and seem to show positive effects, but the effect is rather small and far less effective than, for example, the Effect through exercise and weight normalization. There is also the theory that a lot of sodium (as contained in table salt as sodium chloride, among other things) increases blood pressure, while the opponent potassium lowers blood pressure. Hence, foods rich in potassium are also like Bananas and Honey / watermelons Hypotensive effects are awarded. Different studies have shown similar effects for taking three Whole grain products daily, for Walnuts and for 40 mg Milk or soy protein Every day.

Lower blood pressure with tea

In addition to the drug treatment of high blood pressure, the use of different types of tea is an established therapeutic measure. There are now some varieties that have been proven to have an antihypertensive effect. In addition to certain green teas (Dattan Soba tea, Gaba tea, Sencha powder, Tochucha tea), mistletoe, evergreen, hibiscus, hawthorn, olive leaf, garlic, valerian and motherwort (Latin: Leonurus cardiaca) are suitable -Tea.

The respective types of tea vary in how ultimately lowering blood pressure can be achieved; however, the fact that they can influence it is common to all of them.

Is particularly suitable Hibiscus- or Jamaica tea, you can also easily make it yourself with the help of dried leaves of hibiscus flowers. As described above, ginger also has the property of lowering blood pressure, so too Ginger teaMade with a few slices of the ginger can help. However, ginger should be used cautiously when taking blood-thinning medications such as aspirin.

Especially the different varieties green teas have interesting spectrum of effects. Of the Gaba tea and the Sencha powder are of Japanese origin, the other two, Dattan soba and Eucommia) come from Asia. The 4 varieties play a central role in high blood pressure therapy, as they have a positive influence on the cardiovascular system. It is important to know that green tea does not fight the symptoms of blood pressure but the causes themselves. This is possible because it attacks many areas. For one thing, it will Flow behavior of the blood positively influenced, on the other hand, the vascular architecture is modulated so that it less deposits comes on the vessel walls and the Increased elasticity becomes. To lower the blood pressure, the teas reach into the Metabolic condition and supports organs such as the liver, kidneys and heart in their function. In combination, a synergistic ("cooperating") effect can be observed, so that the intensity of the action is increased.

More precise mechanisms of action are not known for all types of tea, but some are worth mentioning and have more specific indications than others. Of the Melissa tea is recommended for symptoms such as headache, dizziness, heart problems and irritability associated with high blood pressure. With the application of the plant Hawthorn if one makes use of the property that it improves the oxygen position of the inner vessels (coronary vessels) and thus the Strengthens the heart muscles and also has a dilating effect on the peripheral vessels and can thus compensate for high blood pressure.

For black and green tea, as well as for coffee and cola, the caffeine contain a short-term increase in blood pressure after consumption, so that these drinks should not be drunk before a blood pressure measurement. However, one can also Habituation effect of the body watch for these substances, so that the blood pressure-increasing effect of these drinks is negligible after a few weeks, or at least becomes less. However, there are also studies that have a blood pressure lowering effect of black tea postulate so that the effect is controversial.

In general, it can be said that tea can not only contribute acutely to lower blood pressure, but also very well in comparison to drug treatment prophylaxis is suitable to counteract an increased cardiovascular risk.

The Side effects are limited in the plant-based therapy with tea, so that it can only lead to dizziness, nausea and a drop in blood pressure. But one should also be careful when taking at the same time ß-blockers because adverse effects on the heart have been observed in combination. Here it is always important to consult the attending physician.

Schüssler salts for lowering blood pressure

Nowadays, the Schüssler salts are taken as an alternative or in addition to high blood pressure. The Schüssler salts, named after their founder Wilhelm H. Schüssler (1821-1989), are mineral salts with different dosages. The preparations are made using a special process and then further diluted. This dilution process corresponds to the so-called "potentiation". The potentiation varies depending on the Schüssler salt and the indication for use (D3, D6, D12). In general, the D6 potency is the classic recommendation.

According to the theory, high blood pressure results, among other things, from the derailment of the mineral metabolism, so that the intake of mineral salts in the form of Schüssler salts is considered to be therapeutically useful.

There are 12 classic Schüssler salts, also known as 12 functional agents, which form the basis of the treatment. There are now far more than those 12 functional means. The Schüssler salts are used in antihypertensive therapy:

No.3 Ferrum phosphoricum

No.5 Kalium phosphoricum

No.7 Magnesium phosphoricum

No.8 sodium chloratum

No.15 potassium iodatum

No. 16 Litihium chloratum

No. 25 Aurum cholartum natronatum

The various salts generally have a “cleansing function” on the vascular system, as arteriosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”) with its deposits of fats, lime, etc., promotes high blood pressure due to vasoconstriction. It is known more precisely that the Schüssler salt No. 7 relaxes the muscle layer of the vessel walls and thus counteracts the increased blood pressure by widening the blood vessels, No. 8 is substituted if the increased pressure is caused by too much fluid accumulation in the vessels and No. 23 improves blood flow.

The Schüssler salts are usually taken in tablet form. It is important to ensure that the tablet should not be swallowed, but rather that it is allowed to dissolve whole on the tongue so that the salts can be absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth. Alternatively, the Schüssler salts can also be taken as droplets. This is especially advisable if you are allergic to lactose, which is the basis of the tablets. Usually one takes 1-2 tablets 3-6 times a day; 5 drops correspond to one tablet, so that the dose is easily transferable. In general, a combined intake of different Schüssler salts is completely harmless. A synergistic effect to lower blood pressure is often even useful.

Lower blood pressure by losing weight

High blood pressure (= hypertension: hyper = too high, tone = pressure) is when blood pressure values ​​of> 140mmHg systolic and> 90mmHg diastolic remain elevated.

One can differentiate between primary and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension is the more common form and is characterized by the fact that the exact causes of the high blood pressure are not known. This is why one speaks of essential or idiopathic hypertension. In contrast, secondary hypertension can be attributed to other underlying diseases or certain factors. Obesity is a not insignificant risk factor.

Therefore, patients with excessively high blood pressure due to obesity can fight the cause themselves by losing weight. Studies have shown that even a weight loss of 5 kg can lower blood pressure by 3-5mmHg. The systolic, i.e. upper value, can be reduced relatively more than the diastolic, lower value.

Once you realize the reasons why some patients are overweight, you can, conversely, start right there to do something about the excess pounds in order to lower blood pressure. A lack of exercise and excessive calorie intake are often to blame for obesity. A combination of a more conscious and healthier diet and more exercise have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure with the result of weight loss.

Parameters that can be used to classify whether patients are overweight and whether the result is high blood pressure are on the one hand the BMI (body mass index: body weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) but also the waist circumference. The waist size in particular is relevant, as abdominal fat in particular promotes high blood pressure. For men it should not be larger than 120 cm and for women not larger than 88 cm, otherwise there is an increased risk. The BMI limit is <25kg / m².

The reason why overweight can develop high blood pressure is because the heart has to perform better in the sense of increased pumping capacity in order to supply the larger body mass. In addition to the strength of the cardiac output, blood pressure is also dependent on the resistance in the vessels. This resistance is increased because the fatty tissue damages the vessels through the production of inflammatory substances and hormones and it comes to vascular calcification or vascular constriction through deposits.
However, the respective changes are reversible to a certain extent, so that the blood pressure can be reduced significantly by decreasing it and is therefore a simple first measure before the drug treatment.

Exercise against high blood pressure

In addition to weight loss, it is possible to significantly lower blood pressure through exercise. According to current studies, it is possible to lower blood pressure values ​​that are too high by 5 to 10 mmHg through sensible and efficient training. Depending on the initial situation, normal blood pressure values ​​can be achieved through exercise alone and without drug therapy.

You should do sport for 30 minutes at least three times a week. The motto here is: the more exercise, the better - but some exercise is much better than doing nothing. It should be noted that it is only about doing light endurance training. The exercise program not only trains the heart, it can also lead to weight loss. Stress, which can also lead to high blood pressure, is reduced. If you want to train more or have not done any sport in a long time, you should consult and examine a sports doctor and, if necessary, have your exercise capacity measured on a bicycle ergometer.

Endurance sports such as jogging, cycling, swimming, Nordic walking or cross-country skiing are particularly suitable. But even a simple 30-minute walk every day has a significant effect on blood pressure. So you don't have to become a sports fanatic overnight and do intensive sports every day. At the beginning it is completely sufficient to teach the body to switch from a complete lack of movement to regular exercise. It is important that you do not exhaust yourself and reach your limits; it is much more effective to train persistently and to repeat possible exercises several times. In general, you should pay attention to regularity, no matter which endurance sport you choose. To ensure this, it makes sense to do sports that you also enjoy, so that the motivation and positive association ensure that you stay on the ball. It can also be helpful to set your own little goals to work towards. Rough guidelines to use as a guide include about 30 minutes a day or 3 hours a week.

The general advantage of endurance sports is that there are no so-called “load peaks” with extremely high blood pressure values. On the one hand, these carry the risk of sudden cardiac death; on the other hand, this type of sport does not have any antihypertensive effect in the long term.

In weight training there is also the risk that incorrect breathing techniques (“press breathing”) will cause the heart to pump against increased resistance during the exercises, which will lead to overload. Strength training is only recommended for older people, as it preserves the muscles.

Regardless of which sport you do, as a patient with blood pressure values ​​above 160mmHg to 95mmHg you always have to have a stress test carried out beforehand. Resilience can be tested on a bicycle ergometer and blood pressure can be measured and an EKG can be written at the same time. This is important because blood pressure values ​​of 180mmHg to 200mmHg must never be exceeded during training, otherwise there is an increased risk of sudden cardiac death. If you decide to counteract an existing hypertension with sport, this initial examination is mandatory.

The mechanism that causes the antihypertensive effect is that there is a low release of catecholamines both at rest and in stressful situations. Usually the catecholamines stimulate the sympathetic nervous system; However, if the secretion is inhibited, the sympathetic activity decreases, so that vasodilation occurs in the periphery.

In general, the plan to lower blood pressure through exercise is very promising. As already mentioned, exercise can lower blood pressure levels by 5 to 10 mmHg. The higher the initial values, the more the blood pressure can be lowered. With the duration of the training, however, the antihypertensive effect understandably stagnates from a certain point. It has been proven that both the risk of stroke and coronary artery disease and the cardiovascular death rate can be enormously reduced by exercising to lower blood pressure.

Read more on the topic: Exercise and high blood pressure

Lower blood pressure through the right diet

When it comes to nutrition, one should stick to the "Mediterranean cuisine", that is, to orientate oneself to the dishes from the Mediterranean area, e.g. from Italy, France, Spain, Turkey and Greece. This recommendation comes from the fact that cardiovascular diseases are less common in these countries. The use of fresh vegetables (peppers, zucchini, eggplant, cucumber, tomatoes, olives), fresh herbs (such as basil, rosemary, oregano, sage and mint) and seafood and fish are particularly important in the Mediterranean diet. Although the individual countries differ in their eating habits, what they all have in common is the use of fresh ingredients, and often olive oil and onions, leeks and garlic.
In addition, one should pay attention to a reduction in the consumption of table salt in the diet, because salt (Sodium chloride) leads to increased blood pressure values. Generally speaking, Germans consume too much table salt on average. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends a daily consumption of a maximum of 10 grams of table salt, with high blood pressure you should stay below 6 g per day. There is a lot of salt in cured meat, in some types of cheese and ready-made products.
However, its influence on lowering blood pressure is controversial and the more effective measure remains weight loss.

Risk reduction

In large placebo-controlled studies, there was a significant reduction in mortality Medication proven. On average, the relative risk of mortality can be reduced 12- 15% be lowered. The result is independent of gender. This reduces the number of Heart attacks and Strokes clear. In everyday life, however, it has been proven that many patients are not adequately treated with medication. A study has shown that only every second patient in need of therapy was actually treated. Both general practitioners and heart specialists (cardiologists) misjudged the effectiveness of their therapy.

General measures to lower blood pressure

Besides the medicinal Therapy represents the Change of Lifestyle an important component in the successful therapy of High blood pressure to lower blood pressure There are numerous factors that have been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk. Of the Renouncing that Smoke Although it does not directly lower blood pressure, it greatly reduces the risk of complications. People who quit smoking in middle age have just as long a life expectancy as non-smokers. Also reduced nicotine the effectiveness of some antihypertensive drugs, such as Beta blockers.
A high one Alcohol consumption increases the risk of stroke significantly and correlates positively with high blood pressure. In addition, alcohol reduces as well as nicotine the effectiveness of some drugs. Because of this, the maximum amount of alcohol per day in men should be 30g, in women 20g do not exceed.
The Weight reduction represents one of the most important measures to lower blood pressure. This can lower blood pressure between 5-20mmHg per 10kg Lead to weight loss.
In addition, a lifestyle change with more diminishes Move and healthier nutrition the preload and afterload reduction of the Heart and thus the muscle mass of the left ventricle (left ventricular hypertrophy). This significantly increases the resilience and the Exercise-dependent shortness of breath (Dyspnea) reduced. In addition, regular physical activity several times a week for at least 30 minutes can significantly reduce cardiovascular mortality. Sports such as swim, To run or hike. Not, however, pure weight sports like Weightlifting.
By reducing the daily salt content and an adequate daily intake of potassium, can high blood pressure and strokes can be prevented effectively and easily. Studies have shown that people who eat less than 2.5g Consume table salt, reduce your cardiovascular risk by a quarter. Who also increases fruit and vegetables eats to its daily Potassium intake Increasing it can reduce this risk even further. Overall, a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and fish can reduce cardiovascular risk. However, most of the above measures are only sensible and effective in combination. A change in diet alone without increased exercise and continued consumption of alcohol and nicotine cannot reduce blood pressure and cardiovascular risk.

Medicines for high blood pressure

Risks must be weighed when taking medication.

The therapy to lower blood pressure takes place initially as Monotherapy with only one drug (active ingredient). If this is not enough, it is possible to combine different drugs with different modes of action. Means of first choice ACE inhibitors, AT1 antagonists, Beta blockers, Diuretics and Calcium antagonists. The choice of the appropriate drug depends on the Age and the Comorbidities of the patient.
The ACE inhibitors reduce the formation of blood pressure increasing Angiotensin 2 and thus the activity of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone Systemwhich through the Renal blood flow is activated.
The angiotensin 1 receptor antagonists act at a different point in the same system and prevent the action of angiotensin II on its receptor.The conversion to aldosterone can no longer take place and the blood pressure-increasing effect does not occur. There is little point in combining these two drugs as they work in a similar place. They are used more as alternatives because the angiotensin 1 receptor antagonists are sometimes better tolerated than the ACE inhibitors.

The beta blockers work on the ß1-selective receptorswhich are located at the heart. By inhibiting these receptors, the Ejection capacity of the heart and with it the blood pressure. The Diuretics are substances in the kidney promote the excretion of the volume. This reduces the volume in the vascular system and lowers blood pressure. The calcium channel blockers, especially from Nifedipine type reduce the Vascular tone in the Arteries and thereby lower the pressure in the vascular system. All of these groups of active ingredients are equivalent in terms of reducing the risk of mortality. However, there is a clear discrepancy between the effects on organ complications in individual studies. For this reason, despite the good effectiveness of the drugs, their use must be assessed critically and a risk assessment always makes sense.

You can find more detailed information under our topic: Medicines for high blood pressure

Lower blood pressure without medication

The therapy of high blood pressure in particular offers many different approaches apart from the drug treatment.

The pillars of high blood pressure therapy are Sports, optimized nutrition, adequate sleep, do not smoke and less alcohol.

By exercise especially in Endurance range positive effects on blood pressure are proven and not to be despised. In combination with a conscious diet, the associated weight reduction can also have an impact on blood pressure. The topic of nutrition offers further possibilities to fight against high blood pressure and should therefore definitely be integrated into the therapy. Next healthy and balanced diet In the form of lots of vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy products, you should be careful to consume less salt and instead refine the taste of the food with other spices, for example. Salt promotes high blood pressure values ​​enormously and through conscious Reduction in salt consumption the values ​​can decrease by up to 5mmHg. Furthermore, alcohol should only be consumed in moderation. Various Teas Incidentally, are regarded as respected antihypertensive agents and can be proven to lead to an improvement in the blood pressure situation. Green tea, mistletoe, periwinkle, hibiscus, hawthorn, olive leaf, garlic, valerian and motherwort tea are particularly suitable for lowering blood pressure. It is now agreed that blood pressure, blood lipid levels and the magnesium balance are positively influenced by eating nuts in moderation.

Since there is a natural drop in blood pressure during the nocturnal rest phase, it is understandable that regular lack of sleep has a negative effect on blood pressure and drives it up. This is often accompanied by the fact that those affected are very stressed and have little time for relaxation or balance. Hence are autogenic training and conscious switching off from stressful situations is very important for the well-being of the body. The systolic blood pressure can go through active relaxation and Stress reduction be lowered by 8mmHg.

In summary, one can say that there are enough starting points for therapy and one does not have to immediately think about antihypertensive drugs. Many of the aspects mentioned above are logically also suitable as prophylaxis.