How to Get Off of High Blood Pressure Medicine

By Ann Johnson

Taking prescription drugs is costly and can have negative side effects. If your physician has put you on high blood pressure medication, the Mayo Clinic warns not to stop taking the medication on your own. There are steps you can take to help lower your blood pressure, which can result in your going off your medication. But safely going off high blood pressure medication needs to be done under a doctor's supervision.

Lose the extra pounds. If you are overweight, losing just 5 pounds can significantly lower your blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight is one way attain a desirable blood pressure.

Reduce the sodium intake in your diet. Salt you add to your food or salt in processed food adversely affects your blood pressure. Start reading labels and limit your daily sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Limit your consumption of alcohol. Men should consume no more than two alcoholic drinks a day, and women should drink no more than one a day. According to the Mayo Clinic, the limit should be one a day for both men and women who are age 65 or older.

Follow the DASH diet, which emphasizes low-fat dairy foods, plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lots of potassium and low saturated fat. The diet is recommended by the National Institute of Health.

Quit smoking. Smoking damages the blood vessel walls and promotes the hardening of arteries.

Engage in daily physical activity or exercise, ideally 30 minutes a day. Regular activity, as opposed to the "weekend warrior," who does all his or her exercise on one day a week, will help lower your blood pressure and help with weight control.

Manage the stress in your life. This might involve yoga classes, taking long walks, deep-breathing exercises or seeing a therapist. Find what works for you.

Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor regularly. When your doctor feels you've successfully managed your blood pressure, he or she can best determine when, if and how to wean you off blood pressure medication.

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