If you're overweight, losing even 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) can lower your blood pressure. As you slim down, it may be possible to reduce your dose of blood pressure medication — or stop taking your blood pressure medication completely. Don't make changes to your blood pressure medication on your own, however. Do so only after getting your doctor's OK.
Remember, high blood pressure isn't a problem you can treat and then ignore. Even if you're able to stop taking blood pressure medication, it's still important to maintain healthy habits. Here's how:
- Eat a healthy diet — the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is an effective eating plan for lowering blood pressure.
- Get 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.
- Limit alcohol.
- Quit smoking.
- Schedule regular checkups with your doctor to make sure you're keeping your blood pressure in check.
June 14, 2016
- James PA, et al. 2014 evidence-based guideline for the management of high blood pressure in adults. Report from the panel members appointed to the eighth joint national committee (JNC8). JAMA. 2014;311:507.
- Claas SA, et al. The role of healthy lifestyle in the primordial prevention of cardiovascular disease. Current Cardiology Reports. 2016;18:56.
- Ziv A, et al. Comprehensive approach to lower blood pressure (CALM-BP): A randomized controlled trial of a multifactorial lifestyle intervention. Journal of Human Hypertension. 2013;27:594.
- Your guide to lowering blood pressure with DASH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/hbp-dash-index. Accessed May 27, 2016.