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Ask the Experts: Bring Down Blood Pressure

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- What can you do to bring down  blood pressure naturally? Medical reporter Liz Bonis asks the experts at TriHealth to  answer this question in today's Medical Edge.

A new report has some great ideas if you need to lower your blood pressure, obviously not in replacement of seeing your doctor and getting your medications, but add a few foods, a few changes in your lifestyle, could drop those numbers.

New guidelines -- are lower than some previously suggested says Dr. Matt Birkle, "right now the recommendation is to make sure that your blood pressure is less than 120 on the upper number and 80 on the lower number, so we'd like you to be below 120 over 80."

Researchers in this report, which comes from the a study conducted at Northwestern University, found getting to those numbers is critical because, "higher blood pressure if unmonitored, is higher risk for stroke, heart failure and kidney failure."

So to reach recommended numbers naturally, three things are suggested based on this research. First, drop your weight. Even a loss of five pounds can bring blood pressure down significantly.

Second, up your exercise. Just ten extra minutes of uninterrupted activity can work against higher blood pressure numbers.

Add six foods to your diet  that are high in potassium or calcium. These include: bananas, potatoes, leafy green vegetables, legumes, low fat milk and yogurt.

It's also suggested you keep tabs on your blood pressure and know your number because you can't feel that it's too high often until something is seriously wrong. Says Dr. Birkle , "that's the hardest thing, is that is can be a hidden item which is the hardest thing for people to understand,  that you have to be proactive, you have to monitor and you have to get it taken care of , because you really can't detect it until you end up with organ damage."

A quick reminder  we invite your questions each week for providers at TriHealth. To submit one just click on Ask the Expert on our website.




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