Dr. Zac’s Five Ways to Fight High Blood Pressure

Dr. Zac Turner explains how you can stop a common health problem in its tracks by doing these five things.

Welcome to Ask Doctor Zac, a weekly column from news.com.au. This week, Dr. Zac Turner explains how you can lower your blood pressure.

QUESTION: Hello Dr Zac, I read your previous column on reduce cholesterol and I wanted to ask you about blood pressure.

My mother told me that high blood pressure runs in families, but I have no idea what that actually means. What does mean high blood pressure mean, and how can I lower it? –Alex, 37, Melbourne

ANSWER: Hi Alex, great question! And don’t worry, that’s a question I get asked all the time. I understand that you may not be comfortable going to your GP with questions like these, but I highly recommend it rather than googling it yourself.

About one in three Australians have hypertension (high arterial pressure) so this question is relevant for most readers.

To answer your first question clearly and simply: blood pressure is the pressure of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood throughout the body. High blood pressure is difficult to track because it has virtually no symptoms. You may have headaches, nosebleeds, or shortness of breath, but that’s usually when blood pressure is dangerously high.

A nifty gadget that I recommend to my patients who want to check their blood pressure regularly is a blood pressure monitor – you can get one from pharmacies and pharmacies for around $60. Blood pressure is measured in mmHg, or millimeters of mercury.

Blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg is considered a normal level. A blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg or higher is considered high.

To offer you some relief, there are ways to lower your blood pressure. Adopting simple habits in your life and kicking the pavement a few times will greatly affect your blood pressure. Here are five tips from Dr. Zac for lowering blood pressure.

Losing weight

Many patients with high blood pressure tend to be Overweight. By losing up to 2-5 kg ​​you can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of other potential medical problems.

Be picky with your food choices

The foods you eat greatly affect your blood pressure, and simple choices can make a big difference. Start by reducing your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Sugar and fructose have been shown in studies to raise blood pressure more than salt.

You might be wondering what refined carbs actually are? They include white bread, bagels, waffles, white rice, and pizza dough.

You should aim to eat potassium-rich foods. First, it reduces the amount of salt in your system, and second, it relieves tension in your blood vessels. Potassium-rich foods include bananas, apricots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes.

Stop smoking

Smoking cigarettes and high blood pressure go hand in hand. If you smoke, I agree that it is incredibly difficult to quit, but by quitting you are saving yourself a tragically preventable death.

Exercise more regularly

Don’t feel like you have to train like a marathon runner to lower your blood pressure. Exercise can be quite simple, like walking instead of driving, playing a team sport, or even doing household chores. Go buy yourself a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day.

Take prescription drugs

If lifestyle choices are not having an impact on your high blood pressure, I recommend you consult your local GP about it. Most likely, they will prescribe medication for you. These drugs work and will improve your long-term health.

Alex, there is no need to be afraid! As you can see, high blood pressure is an easy fix.

You have a question: askdrzac@conciergedoctors.com.au

Dr. Zac Turner holds a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Sydney. He is both a doctor and co-owner of a telehealth service, Concierge doctors (conciergedoctors.com.au). He was a registered nurse and is also a qualified and experienced biomedical scientist in addition to being a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering.

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