Control blood pressure for peripheral arterial disease

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk factor for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) that can be controlled. You can lower your blood pressure by:

  • Controlling your weight. The best approach to weight loss focuses on lifestyle changes (such as eating a balanced diet and starting an exercise program), not on actual pounds lost.
  • Following an eating plan that can lower blood pressure, like the DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
  • Getting regular exercise. This may also help control your weight.
  • Limiting your salt (sodium) intake. Watch for hidden sodium in snack foods, canned soups, and cheeses.
  • Not drinking too much alcohol. Drinking alcohol can increase blood pressure.

These simple measures are sometimes enough to control high blood pressure.

Often your doctor will prescribe a medicine to help control blood pressure in addition to having you make lifestyle changes. Take your blood pressure medicine exactly as directed. If you think it is causing side effects (which some medicines do), tell your doctor. Other medicines are available.

For more information, see the topic High Blood Pressure (Hypertension).

Last Updated: October 16, 2009

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