Because hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the leading causes of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), it is important, especially for those with CKD, to know how to control blood pressure levels. People can develop hypertension from a variety of causes, including poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and stress. Fortunately, once blood pressure reaches unhealthy levels, it can be lowered again by understanding what causes hypertension, and by taking the necessary precautions to control it.
Obesity is often associated with high blood pressure, making weight loss a key way to lower blood pressure levels. Exercising approximately 30 minutes most days, and adjusting the diet to include less sodium and fat, and more potassium, magnesium, and fiber are great ways to start. Foods to consider when controlling hypertension are fruits and vegetables, as they are high in potassium, magnesium, and fiber; nuts, seeds, legumes, spinach, lean meats, and poultry, as they are high in magnesium; and grains including, whole wheat noodles and bread, oatmeal, barley and brown rice, as they are good sources of fiber.
Smoking cigarettes is directly linked to hypertension, as well as many other health conditions. Quitting smoking is an effective way to lower high blood pressure, and to prevent the onset of more health issues.
Stress is another main contributor of hypertension, and although some stress is considered normal, high levels of it can cause psychological problems, as well as physiological health problems. Understanding how to control stress will inevitably help to lower high blood pressure, as well as improve the overall mood. Ways to manage stress include:
- Taking time to relax/rest everyday
- Setting realistic goals
- Daily meditation
- Stopping smoking
- Exercising regularly
- Managing time
There are also a number of medications that can help manage hypertension. To learn more about these options, and which is the most effective choice, consult with a physician.