How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Immediately?
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a dangerous condition that impacts nearly half of adults in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2018, close to half a million deaths in the country had high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause. Occurring when the force of blood pressing against artery walls is consistently too high, high blood pressure requires a long-term care approach. However, there are several ways to temporarily lower your blood pressure in just a matter of minutes—give these methods a try if you’d like to lower your blood pressure immediately:
- Take a warm bath or shower. Stay in your shower or bath for at least 15 minutes and enjoy the warm water. This can also help reduce muscle tension.
- Do a breathing exercise. Take a deep breath from your core, hold your breath for about two seconds, then slowly exhale. Pause for a few moments and repeat.
- Relax! Stress is a key contributor to high blood pressure, so do whatever you can to relax. This may be as simple as sitting in a quiet room for a few moments, doing a few stretching exercises, reading a good book, or meditating.
These techniques can provide a quick fix, but it’s important to implement a long-term care plan to successfully manage your high blood pressure. Some of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure include:
- Losing excess weight
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake
- Prioritizing sleep
- Avoiding stressful situations, if possible
- Eating less sodium, sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods
- Regularly engaging in low-impact exercise (about 30 minutes every day)
- Taking medication to lower blood pressure
What Are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
Perhaps you’re not sure if you have high blood pressure. If it has been a while since you’ve had your blood pressure taken, consider scheduling a wellness visit with your medical provider. In the meantime, here are some of the key signs of high blood pressure to watch out for:
- Skin flushing (redness)
- Bloody urine
When to Call 911
High blood pressure may warrant emergency care. If your blood pressure is 180/120 or greater, or if you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately:
- Sudden changes in vision
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble speaking
- Sudden back pain
- Numbness or weakness
Your Partner in Heart Health
Tufts Medical Center Community Care is here to help you achieve your best heart health. Our multispecialty medical group features a growing team of internists, family medicine physicians and cardiologists who collaborate to provide comprehensive care to patients with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions.
To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist or primary care physician at Tufts Medical Center Community Care, contact our friendly professionals today or reserve an appointment online. Telemedicine services are also available—give us a call to learn if this type of appointment is right for you.