Hypertension is one of the most prevalent diseases in Spain and is usually managed with medication for life.

Measuring tension is one of the methods to control it.

High blood pressure or high blood pressure is one of the most prevalent diseases in Spain. Although it affects one in three Spaniards, only two out of three hypertensive patients are diagnosed.

At a medical level, there are a multitude of pharmacological varieties to treat and control hypertension, requiring in some very serious cases up to three, four or even five different drugs.

However, in a recent and mild diagnosis, it is possible to control blood pressure without actually taking medication through a healthy lifestyle.

Lose weight

As the weight increases, so does the risk of high blood pressure, among many other problems associated with overweight and obesity.

Therefore, losing weight and reducing the size of the abdominal waist are two key goals to reduce hypertension. It is calculated that, For every kilogram of weight lost, 1 mmHg will be reduced on average.

Depending on the sex, it is known that the risk of hypertension or other diseases is linked to a certain abdominal waist sizel: in waists of more than 102 centimeters in men and more than 89 centimeters in women, the risk of associated pathologies begins to increase significantly, including hypertension.

Exercise

Exercise at least 150-300 minutes a week, from moderate form, the between 75-150 minutes a week, from intense form, along with two days a week of resistance exercise, has been shown to reduce the risk of disease and the risk of mortality in general, according to the New Guidelines for Physical Exercise.

At the tension level, it is calculated that starting to exercise reduces between 5-8 mmHg in blood pressure, as long as it is constant. In this case, aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and even dancing are advised, in addition to strength exercises and high intensity workouts.

Follow a healthy diet

A balanced diet, based on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy. Is he DASH diet approach, which partly shares some characteristics of the Mediterranean diet, although not all.

This type of eating approach seeks to reduce sodium intake, increase potassium and fiber intake, and limit overall meat and saturated fat intake.

Dietary sodium intake

Reducing sodium in the diet has been shown to reduce blood pressure up to 5-6 mmHg.

Sodium is 40% of the content of table salt or sodium chloride, and currently it is recommended that its consumption is not exceeded by 2,300 mg daily, or 5 grams of table salt a day.

The current problem is that many ultra-processed foods are saturated with sodiumTherefore, it is advisable to reduce or eliminate its consumption, in addition to reducing as much as possible the addition of salt to meals, or at least use it in moderation.

Avoid drinking alcohol

Alcohol, despite previous studies and beliefs, has shown cause damage to the human organism in any quantity.

Theoretically, a moderate consumption of alcohol (one daily dose for women and two daily for men) would help reduce blood pressure by 4 mmHg. However, the benefits do not outweigh risks of its consumption, regardless of the amount, which is why no amount of daily alcohol would be recommended in order to improve health.

Give up smoking

Smoking kills, but during the process the risk of a multitude of pathologies increases, starting with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in general, among others.

Every cigarette that is consumed, by itself, is capable of increase blood pressure even after quitting. For this reason, quitting smoking completely can substantially improve blood pressure levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease in general, in addition to lengthening life compared to continuing to smoke.

Reduce or stop caffeine

The consumption of caffeine alone is not capable of producing high blood pressure or cardiovascular damage, but an excess of consumption can be harmful. In addition, when you already suffer a high blood pressure within the range of normality, the consumption of caffeine can help to end up being hypertensive.

In people who do not usually consume caffeine, said consumption can increase blood pressure up to 10 mmHg; however, in regular users of this substance, it does not appear to have such effects.

When in doubt, it is best to measure blood pressure after 30 minutes of drinking caffeine: if the blood pressure increases 5-10 mmHg after said drink, it is possible that there is some sensitivity.

Reduce stress

The Chronic stress also contributes to the increased risk of various pathologies, being arterial hypertension one of the most related to this symptom. Occasional acute stress is associated with episodes of point hypertension, but its clear long-term effects are still under study.

At the moment, the best advice is try to get a glimpse of what factors cause stress, and how to eliminate or reduce them, with the aim of improving blood pressure in particular, and lifestyle in general.

Checking blood pressure at home

Currently the price of blood pressure monitors is more affordable than a few years ago, but there is also the option of approaching any pharmacy to taking your blood pressure from time to time. From the age of 40-50, the risk of hypertension increases naturally, which is why it is advisable to carry out some type of personal monitoring.

On the other hand, if a high blood pressure measurement is observed (exceeding 140 mmHg in the “high” and 90 mmHg in the “low”), the most appropriate is carry out monitoring for at least 5-7 days, three times in the morning and three times at night, on consecutive days or at least every other day. With all these data, you should later go to the doctor to confirm if there really is a diagnosis of hypertension or if it has only been something specific.

Seek the necessary support

Finally, when all of these tips have been followed and elevated blood pressure is actually targeted, the next step is seek help, in this case from our trusted healthcare professionals (pharmacists, nursing and primary care medicine).

Likewise, if we don’t know how start to improve the lifestyle, family and friends will always be a good point of support to start any change in order to improve.