One Simple Way to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 6 Months5 years ago | Hypertension
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that more than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure (hypertension). To be exact, the AHA estimates 103 million Americans have high blood pressure, which is half of all adults in the United States!
If you are one of the millions of Americans who currently have high blood pressure, a simple tweak in your proactive health regimen may make a world of difference. And the best part is you don’t even have to leave your couch!
A recent AHA pilot initiative involving more than 2,000 adults with consistently high blood pressure showed that when these adults committed to doing at-home blood pressure monitoring, their blood pressure was better controlled.
Participants were given home blood pressure monitors, online and print resources for tracking their readings and regular reminders to check their blood pressure. Their healthcare providers were also informed of the process.
(If you have high blood pressure, it is generally recommended you test at home twice a day, once in the morning and evening).
The Results After Doing At-Home Blood Pressure Monitoring?
- By their 3rd office visit, nearly 67 percent of patients had their blood pressure controlled.
- Nearly 60 percent of patients had blood pressure under control by their sixth visit (this slight decline was attributed to healthcare providers adjusting blood pressure medications for these participants, based on results from the at-home monitoring).
And in the six months after this intervention, nearly 80 percent of the participants got their blood pressure under control.
This is a perfect example of how just being informed about your health is often half the battle when it comes to maintaining overall good health.
All of this does not mean that getting your blood pressure checked at the doctor is unnecessary. It means that if you do both home and doctor’s office blood pressure checks, you can fight hypertension with a two-pronged spear and have a greater chance of maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
“Home monitoring combined with doctor visits to measure a patient's blood pressure helps to avoid numbers skewed by ‘white-coat hypertension,’ when blood pressure is high in a medical setting but not in everyday life, and ‘masked hypertension,’ when blood pressure is normal in a medical setting but high at home,” according to this report on the study.
Your Health Is Your Greatest Wealth, And At-Home Blood Tests Are Cost Efficient.
According to the initiative, each blood pressure monitor cost $38.50, but this investment produced substantial savings. “The intervention reduced needed office visits by 1.2 office visits per participant per year and significantly reduced emergency department and medication costs.”
(Read here to see a variety of home blood pressure monitors you can purchase - some of them are under $30).
When doing at-home blood pressure tests, it is extremely important to do them correctly. For example, don't smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. You also need to sit straight with your back supported. Read here for details on how to properly take your blood pressure.
Finally, Never Underestimate the Power of Nutrition.
One of the reasons why millions of Americans currently have high blood pressure is a diet rich in unhealthy fats, sugar and processed foods. The good news is diet is something you can improve. Along with eating junk foods and sweets in moderation, make sure you are getting an adequate intake of these 7 nutrients that may help fight hypertension. And as always, take a comprehensive nutrient test to ensure you have the right balance of nutrients, like magnesium and potassium. These are examples of nutrients which directly affect your ability to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Healthcare Providers Need to Be Proactive As Well.
The AHA initiative revealed that less than one in five providers were including home blood pressure monitoring in documentations for hypertension patients.
Going to the doctor and getting regular exams is a major part of being proactive about your health, however, examining yourself at home also plays a key role.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.