How to Lowering High Blood Pressure

Reducing high blood pressure can be done in a number of ways, ranging from maintaining an ideal body weight, exercising regularly, reducing salt consumption, to using blood pressure-lowering drugs. Some ways to reduce high blood pressure is important to know and do by people suffering from hypertension.

Normal blood pressure ranges from 120/80 mmHg to 130/85 mmHg. High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition in which there is an increase in blood pressure, up to 140/90 mmHg or more. Blood pressure can be known through a blood pressure check.

Based on data from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia in 2014, there were around 65 million people in Indonesia suffering from hypertension. And globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are around 8 million people in the world who die each year and more than 50 million people experience disabilities due to hypertension complications.

If not handled properly, high blood pressure can cause various complications, such as heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, kidney failure, vision problems due to retinal damage, to dementia. To prevent these complications, high blood pressure sufferers need to lower their blood pressure to normal values.

In general, lowering high blood pressure can be done in two ways, namely by living a healthy lifestyle and taking blood pressure-lowering drugs.

Reduce High Blood Pressure by Changing Lifestyle

Changing your lifestyle to be healthier is a proven way to reduce high blood pressure, whether mild or severe. The following are some recommendations from doctors to reduce high blood pressure:

1. Reducing salt intake

Salt contains sodium (sodium) which is quite high. If consumed in excess, sodium can cause blood pressure to increase. That is why, hypertension sufferers who do not limit salt intake will find it difficult to control their blood pressure.

The recommended amount of sodium intake is less than 1.5 – 2 grams of sodium, equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt per day.

2. Maintain ideal body weight

Excessive weight or obesity can cause blood pressure to go up. Therefore, maintaining an ideal body weight is one of the recommended steps to reduce blood pressure.

To lose weight and keep it ideal, you can live a healthy diet by increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, drinking water, and reducing fatty foods.

3. Exercise regularly

Exercising regularly is proven to reduce blood pressure and help maintain weight. Some good exercise options for hypertension are walking, cycling, swimming, jogging, and yoga.

To get the maximum benefits of exercise, it is advisable to exercise regularly for 30-60 minutes, at least 3 times a week.

4. Reduce stress

Prolonged stress or severe stress can increase blood pressure. If not managed properly, excessive stress can make blood pressure difficult to control.

There are various ways to reduce stress, such as by doing relaxation, meditation, doing hobbies or activities that are popular, and getting enough sleep. Adults need to sleep for 7-9 hours every night.

5. Avoid smoking and consuming alcoholic drinks

Too much smoking and consuming alcoholic drinks is one of the causes of increased blood pressure. So, stay away from these two bad habits, especially if you already have hypertension.

In addition, hypertension sufferers also need to limit caffeine intake, because caffeine has the effect of increasing blood pressure.

To reduce high blood pressure, you should also pay attention to the food you consume. As much as possible, increase your intake of potassium and avoid fatty foods and foods that contain lots of sugar. Some types of good food consumed to reduce blood pressure are:

  • Fruits, such as bananas, red beets, pomegranates, and strawberries.
  • Vegetables, including spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and mustard greens.
  • Nuts and seeds. But remember, do not choose products that contain a lot of salt.
  • Skim milk or yogurt is low in sugar and fat.
  • High protein foods, such as eggs and fish. Both of these foods also contain omega-3 which is good for heart health.
  • Dark chocolate (dark chocolate).

Reduce high blood pressure with drugs

In addition to changing lifestyles, hypertension can also be treated by administering high blood-lowering drugs or antihypertensive drugs. Generally these drugs will be used if the blood pressure is already very high or if other methods have not been successful in lowering blood pressure.

The following are medicines that are often used to treat high blood pressure:

1. ACE inhibitors

The group of ACE inhibitors (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme inhibitors) works by relaxing the blood vessels, so the blood flows more easily and the pressure decreases. Examples of drugs that are included in the ACE inhibitor group are lisinopril, ramipril, and captopril.

2. Calcium channel blockers

The calcium channel blocker group works by relaxing the muscles of blood vessels and slowing the heart rate. Amlodipine and diltiazem are examples of drugs that are included in this group of drugs.

3. Diuretics

This group of drugs can reduce high blood pressure by removing excess sodium and water from the body through urine. Examples of drugs that are included in the diuretic group are furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide.

4. Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB)

Candesartan and losartan are some of the drugs included in the angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) group of drugs. Just like ACE inhibitors, ARB also lowers blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels so that the flow is smoother.

5. Beta blockers

The class of drugs which are also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents are groups of drugs that inhibit the hormone epinephrine, a hormone that affects the speed of heart beat or slow. With the inhibition of the work of these hormones, the heart rate will slow down, so that blood pressure can be reduced.

In addition to slowing down the heart rate, beta blockers also relax blood vessels, so blood flow becomes smoother. Some examples of drugs that are included in the beta blocker group are atenolol, metoprolol, and bisoprolol.

Blood pressure targets that need to be achieved by people with hypertension are below 140/90 mmHg. To achieve ideal blood pressure, hypertension sufferers often have to live a healthy lifestyle and take antihypertensive drugs.

To determine what type of antihypertensive medication can be used, you need to consult a doctor. During your hypertension treatment, you should have regular blood pressure checks. Blood pressure checks can be done at home with a tensimeter.

In addition, do not forget to routinely control the doctor, so that the doctor can monitor the effectiveness of the drug and decrease blood pressure, as well as check your health condition thoroughly.

Smoking Can Reduce Sperm Quality, Myth Or Fact?

You must have heard that smoking can damage all processes and functions in the body, including sperm formation. Then how exactly the effect of smoking on sperm quality and health of male reproductive organs in general?

A cigarette contains more than 7000 chemicals. In addition to being harmful to the lungs and various other organs, the chemicals contained in cigarettes also adversely affect fertility.

Sperm Smoker Quality

Smoking can reduce the quality of sperm, from concentration, movement, shape, to sperm-forming material (DNA). This is associated with exposure to various chemicals in cigarettes, such as lead, cadmium, and nicotine, in the male reproductive system.

The study found that the sperm concentration of male smokers fell by 23%, sperm moved 13% slower, and abnormal sperm forms were higher in number. This decrease in quality makes it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg.

Sperm DNA damage from smoking is also considered to increase the risk of miscarriage, fetal developmental disorders, and even birth defects.

Decreased sperm quality is seen in moderate and heavy smokers who spend more than 10 cigarettes per day.

Does Smoking Cause Infertility?

Sperm quality and fertility are two different, but interrelated. Poor quality of sperm does not indicate that you are infertile, but if the sperm is only a small amount, damaged, even unable to move swiftly, it will be more difficult to fertilize an egg.

The relationship between smoking and infertility is not very clear, but smoking can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction up to two times.

Smoking Can Affect Couples Fertility

Besides causing effects on active smokers, couples of smokers can also experience negative effects from exposure to cigarette smoke.

According to research, the success rate of IVF will decrease in women exposed to secondhand smoke. Women who have non-smoking partners have a success rate of 38% while undergoing IVF, while women with smokers’ husbands only have success of 22%.

Keep in mind, the ill effects of smoking are not only caused by conventional cigarettes, but also by electronic cigarettes or vape.

Given the many negative effects of smoking and exposure to cigarette smoke for sperm and the reproductive system, let’s stop smoking from now on. If you find it difficult, consult your doctor to find out the right way to stop smoking.