By Ashley McDowell, PA-C 

High blood pressure is a condition that does not usually cause symptoms, but puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

Lifestyle changes have a big effect on your blood pressure. They may decrease the likelihood that you will need blood pressure medication. Some of the lifestyle modifications that you can do to improve your overall health are:

  • Diet changes- eating low sodium foods and diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Decreasing meats, sweets, and refined grains. Decrease alcohol use.
  • Weight loss- exercising 30 minutes most days of the week but the most effective plan is the one you stick with.
  • Quit smoking to lower chances of heart attack or stroke.

If your healthcare provider decides you need to start a blood pressure medication, it can save your life!

Start by discussing these changes with your healthcare provider and choose realistic and specific goals you know you can reach.