Find a sport you are passionate about, or any other activity you enjoy and just stick with it.
Heart failure — this dire-sounding term often brings to mind a heart that has beat its last. Not so. Heart failure means that the heart isn’t able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Common effects of heart failure include fatigue, shortness of breath, and swelling in the legs.
Many people are surprised to learn that heart failure is often a manageable condition. Taking medications, balancing exercise and rest, following a low-sodium diet, and being careful about fluid intake can help keep it in check. But heart failure can be unpredictable. After a long stretch of being under control, it can flare up, and even require a hospital stay.
Sometimes these flare-ups come from out of the blue, caused by an infection or a medication. Most of the time, though, they creep up, announcing themselves with subtle changes like being more tired than usual or quickly gaining several pounds.
Warning signs of worsening heart failure
If you have heart failure, call your doctor if you notice any of these signs:
· Sudden weight gain (2–3 pounds in one day or 5 or more pounds in one week)
· Extra swelling in the feet or ankles
· Swelling or pain in the abdomen
· Shortness of breath not related to exercise
· Discomfort or trouble breathing when lying flat
· Waking up feeling short of breath
· Coughing or wheezing
· Increased fatigue
· Mental confusion
· Loss of appetite
To effectively monitor your symptoms, you need to know the signs of trouble. This can be tricky because symptoms may seem to come and go and it can be hard to tell the difference between the side effects of medications and the symptoms of heart failure itself, especially if they’re mild.
Even small shifts can be significant. By writing down any new symptoms or changes in existing ones, you can track changes over time. At the end of each day, fill in your symptoms and note their severity on a scale of one to five.
As you look at your records, ask yourself:
- Are there any patterns in my symptoms?
- Do my symptoms seem to be getting better or worse?
- Am I having any new symptoms?
- Is there anything I haven’t written down?
Most important, stay in close communication with your doctor and healthcare team. Together you can catch changes in your condition early and help avoid complications.
Time is essence in a heart attack situation. There is enough evidence in favor of timely medical intervention to save heart muscles from irrecoverable damage. Awareness, speed of action and access to a well-equipped cardiac setup is essential to deal with heart emergencies. This continuum is known as acute care or emergency care.
Technique to cure heart diseases without a major surgery like open heart for valve repair and coronary artery bypass grafting (bypass surgery) is known as interventional management in cardiology. Doctors specializing in these minimal invasive techniques are called interventional cardiologists. This requires an in-depth patient assessment before deciding whether a patient need major surgery or minimal invasive procedure or interventional management.
Long Term Care
Patient with chronic heart conditions need regular follow ups. A cardiologist’s training equips him with necessary expertise to manage quality of life of such patients. This become even more important when patient has multiple conditions like diabetes, high BP, kidney disorders and also need treatment for heart failure.
If anyone having symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen legs, and rapid heartbeat – this could be heart failure. Treatments can be simple reducing salt intake, fluid intake and taking medication. In some cases, a cardiac implantable defibrillator or pacemaker may be implanted.
Angina & Chest Pain
Chest pain or angina originated by a heart condition or blocked artery described typically as:
- Difficult to pinpoint
- More like fullness or tightness in the chest
- Pressurizing in the chest
- Pain that spreads to jaw, neck, shoulders, and arms
- Vomiting or cold sweat
When blood supply to heart muscles is impaired because of blood clot clogging coronary. It is medical emergency. Blood supply to heart muscle need to be restored to save heart muscle damage. Damage to heart muscle in medical term is called myocardial infarction or MI.
Breathing difficulties may have an underlined heart condition. Although in majority of situations breathing difficulty is also due lung conditions. Our heart and lungs are involved in transporting oxygen to tissues and eliminating carbon dioxide, and problems with either of these processes affect your breathing. It recommended therefore to seek medical help in this situation.
Blackout or fainting can have other underlined causes, and sometime very minor ones. Since a patient can not evaluate himself or herself, it is advised to seek an assessment by a physician. A cardiologist will look for heart block and problem in heart rhythm system.
This stage requires lifestyle modification guided by expert. Patients may need to be put on medication along with a possible weight loss program and exercise regimen. Intent of medical intervention in this stage is to bring blood sugar normal level and stop progression from prediabetes to type-2 diabetes stage. Anyone having family history of diabetes, heart disease, is overweight and have sedentary lifestyle is advised to get tested for blood sugar as a preventive measure. Prediabetes in many people have no symptoms hence preventive health up is advised.
Heart failure is a condition when heart is not able to pump adequate blood. This condition is cured with approaches like – self-care, medication, device implantation and sometimes surgery. Dr.Sudheer Saxena is has expertise in implantation of devices for cardiac resynchronization and pacemaker to help heart pump blood and provide electrical impulses automatically. A patient centric approach is followed to customize treatment plan for heart failure patients.
Heart blockages for a common man is atherosclerosis in medical term. It is deposition of fat, calcium, tissue fibrosis, cholesterol on artery walls. When lipid rich plaque on artery walls ruptures, it causes heart attack – a medical emergency. Manifestation of atherosclerosis can be prevented with healthy lifestyle which includes eating healthy, exercise regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and managing stress.
Dr.Saxena is one of the pioneers in the field of coronary angioplasty and stent implantation for heart blockages. If Heart arteries are blocked at multiple locations, it is a multivessel disease (MVD) requires multivessel angioplasty. Similarly, if a patient has chest pain due to ruptured plaque it requires primary angioplasty. Blockages also get hardened with calcium and need rotablation or atherectomy with stent. All these situations are complex and only be treated by an experienced cardiologist.
These are conditions like aortic dissection, hematoma, and aortic ulcer. All of these rare condition have been effectively managed by Dr.Sudheer Saxena either with interventional or surgical intervention.
Valvular Heart Disease
Heart valves are essential heart chambers valves regulate flow of blood from different chambers of the heart, into aorta and body and to and from the lungs. Any leakage, blockage or damage to heart valves requires medical interventions. Recent development in heart valve intervention has made it possible to replace a valve without option heart surgery. Procedure named as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Dr.Saxena runs a successful TAVR program in his hospital and already helped many patient regain their heart health with the help of this novel technology.
#Best Cardiologist in Chandigarh #heart doctor in sector 15 #Heart specialist in chandigarh
information to help you understand your cardiologist’s prescription to keep your heart healthy
Although lifestyle changes are an essential first step in treating coronary artery disease, you may need to take medications to reach your cholesterol and blood pressure goals and otherwise reduce your risk. In fact, most people with heart disease need to take more than one medication. The specific combination of drugs will depend on your particular symptoms and risk factors. Some of the most commonly prescribed medications are described below.
Blood pressure medications
For many years, doctors used diuretics — sometimes known as water pills — to treat high blood pressure. Although diuretics remain a mainstay of blood pressure treatment because they are cheap and effective, a flood of other drugs have become available since the 1980s. In addition, a large meta-analysis comparing the various options concluded that the five categories of drugs currently available are equally effective for most people. Work with your doctor to determine the best type of medication for you.
It is important to keep in mind, though, that most people with hypertension do not get their blood pressure under control with the starting dose of the first drug chosen. At that point, two philosophies exist about what to try next. Some doctors increase the dosage of the first drug to see if it will bring blood pressure down to target levels. The advantage of this approach is simplicity, as the person being treated takes one pill per day. A second approach is to use low doses of two or more blood pressure drugs that work in different ways. This approach minimizes the likelihood of side effects, but may be harder to follow, as it requires taking two or more pills per day. It may also be more expensive for the person being treated, as he or she may face additional copayments or out-of-pocket expenses for the drugs. A compromise approach is to use combination medicines that include, for example, both an ACE inhibitor and a low-dose diuretic. This is convenient, but many combinations are available only in brand-name forms and are thus more expensive.
Thiazide diuretics work by reducing the amount of water in the body and increasing the flow of urine. These medications are often prescribed as initial treatment for people with hypertension, either alone or in combination with another blood pressure medication. Many are now available in generic form, which means they are inexpensive. Commonly used thiazide diuretics include chlorthalidone and hydrochlorothiazide although there are many others.
Diuretics can boost the effectiveness of other antihypertensive medications, so you benefit more from multidrug therapies. But diuretics do have some drawbacks. If you have trouble with urination, diuretics may aggravate the situation. These drugs can also lower potassium levels (possibly causing leg cramps), although potassium-sparing diuretics are available. Finally, diuretics can cause fatigue. Even with all the caveats, however, diuretics provide the foundation of treatment for high blood pressure.
Angiotensin-converting–enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
These blood pressure drugs dilate blood vessels. They work by blocking production of angiotensin, a blood vessel–constricting protein. In addition to controlling high blood pressure, ACE inhibitors have long been prescribed for people with heart failure. Studies have shown that these drugs also help in other situations. They help to preserve heart function after heart attacks, protect the kidneys in people with diabetes, and slow the progression of atherosclerosis. The most common problem is a persistent throat tickle and cough.
Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs)
Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) provide an alternative to ACE inhibitors. ARBs work in a slightly different way from ACE inhibitors to restore normal blood flow: Instead of blocking production of angiotensin, ARBs prevent this protein from exerting its blood vessel–constricting effects in the body.
Avoiding common pitfalls
One of the great medical success stories of our time is the ability to diagnose and treat heart disease and to gauge a person’s risk of developing it in the future. But preventive measures and therapies can only be successful if people use them. A continuing medical challenge is helping people avoid a variety of common pitfalls: ignoring key symptoms, deferring recommended tests, or neglecting to take medications as prescribed. Any or all of these things can keep you from reaping the full benefit of decades of medical research and practice.
“The drugs worked. Can I stop now?”
If you’ve reached your target blood pressure or cholesterol level, it’s tempting to stop taking your medicine. But doing so can cause your blood pressure or cholesterol to rise again — along with your risk for heart disease. Check with your doctor before deciding to cut back or eliminate any medication.
“I’m having side effects.”
Tell your doctor about side effects that you find bothersome. Chances are, you can use a different medication that’s more bearable. One of the best ways to minimize unpleasant side effects from heart medications is to avoid taking other drugs that interact adversely with them. Many drugs commonly prescribed for the prevention or treatment of heart disease should not be taken with other medications.
“It must be heartburn.”
Ignoring chest pain is another common pitfall. Most people know that it might be a sign of angina or heart attack — or of nothing more than indigestion. But anyone having chest pain should err on the side of caution by calling the doctor and having an evaluation for heart disease. If you disregard chest pain or pretend it’s not that big a deal, you could be denying yourself the chance for early — and potentially lifesaving — treatment.
Beta blockers are commonly used in people with coronary artery disease. While they were once considered an important blood pressure medication, they are now regarded as less effective at controlling blood pressure compared to other drugs. There are many types of beta blockers on the market, but all act by interfering with epinephrine (adrenaline), a hormone that normally stimulates the heart to beat faster and stronger. Beta blockers slow the heart rate and decrease the amount of work the heart must do. By lowering the oxygen needs of the heart, beta blockers help prevent or relieve angina symptoms and minimize damage during a heart attack.
When a person first starts a beta blocker, he or she may notice fatigue and a sluggish feeling. Over time these symptoms tend to be less prominent. Beta blockers used in heart disease are called selective beta blockers, such as metoprolol.
Calcium-channel blockers are vasodilators: By dilating the coronary arteries, they increase blood flow to the heart and cut its workload by reducing blood pressure and the force of the heart’s contractions. They are excellent anti-hypertensive medications, especially amlodipine.
Since statins were first introduced in the late 1980s, they have become the treatment of choice for lowering cholesterol, simply because they are so effective. Even so, they don’t work for everyone; other medications are available to lower cholesterol and may be more beneficial for you, depending on your circumstances. If you have high triglycerides in addition to high LDL, for instance, the class of drugs known as fibric acid derivatives may help (see “Fibric acid derivatives”). If you have low HDL cholesterol, niacin is an option. Other medications such as colesevelam and ezetimibe lower LDL substantially and can be combined with statins to lower these levels even further (see “A cholesterol-lowering combination”).
Statins, known medically as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, work by preventing the liver from making cholesterol (see Figure 8) and by forcing the liver to draw LDL cholesterol from the blood. These medications not only significantly lower LDL levels but also improve your overall cholesterol profile by lowering total cholesterol, slightly boosting HDL, and slightly lowering triglycerides — although by differing amounts. Since they were introduced in 1987, the statins have proved to be better at reducing cholesterol than other medications. What’s more, studies have revealed that these medications have other benefits: They stabilize cholesterol-filled plaque in artery walls, promote the growth of new blood vessels, and calm inflammation. All of these actions help to reduce the risk for coronary artery disease and heart attack or stroke. Small wonder that statins are considered one of the most important advances in drug therapy since the 1970s.
Figure 8: How statins work
Most of the cholesterol circulating in your blood has been made by your liver, not digested from the food you eat. An enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase plays a key role in deciding how much cholesterol the liver makes.
But statins are not miracle pills, and they’re not for everyone. They don’t always lower cholesterol enough, and they cause troubling side effects in some people. It’s also important to remember that eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and losing weight if necessary are the best — and should be the first — approaches to treating high cholesterol and reducing the risk for heart attack or stroke. Consider the options carefully and talk with your doctor about whether to take a statin and, if so, which one to take.
Should you take a statin? It depends on a number of factors. In general, the higher your LDL cholesterol, and the greater your chances of having a heart attack or stroke, the more you’d benefit from taking a statin.
Examples of commonly available include atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin. Another medication, combines ezetimibe and simvastatin in a single pill (see “A cholesterol-lowering combination”). In most people, statins have similar benefits and similar side effects. Which statin you take isn’t nearly as important as whether you take it every day, how you take it and how well you help it along with diet and exercise.
Aching muscles is the most common side effect of statins. Severe muscle damage — a condition known as rhabdomyolysis, which can be deadly unless treated — affects about 8 of every 10,000 people taking a statin.
Because various statins are broken down in the liver in different ways, some statins are more likely to be affected by other drugs or foods. Therefore, your doctor may suggest a particular statin based on other medications you are taking.
Getting the most from your statin
You can do several things to make sure your particular statin is working the best it can.
· Take lovastatin with food. This almost doubles the amount of medication that gets into your bloodstream.
· Take some statins at night. It’s best to take lovastatin , Pravastatin, Simvastatin, and Fluvastatin with your evening meal. That’s because these statins block a key cholesterol-making enzyme in the liver that is most active at night. Lipitor and Crestor last long enough in the body that it doesn’t matter when you take them.
· Beware of drug interactions. Mention all other medications you are taking when talking with your doctor about a statin, to avoid potentially harmful interactions. If you are on other medications, you may want to try Pravachol, which is less likely than the other statins to interact with other medications.
It works by blocking the cholesterol in food from crossing the intestinal wall and getting into the bloodstream.
It also reduces LDL levels about 20% alone; studies show that when combined with a statin, it lowers LDL another 15%–23%. Talk with your doctor about whether a combination strategy might be helpful for you, particularly if you have not responded dramatically to a statin alone.
Other cardiovascular medications
Aspirin is an old standby, yet it continues to surprise. This common, inexpensive drug helps protect survivors of heart attack and stroke from subsequent heart attacks and death, and even helps reduce the number of deaths that occur within the first hours following a heart attack. Aspirin is an antiplatelet drug that prevents tiny blood cells known as platelets from clumping together — the first step in the formation of a blood clot.
In recent decades, many new heart drugs have been introduced, but they haven’t undercut the importance of nitroglycerin and other nitrate compounds. For more than a century, these drugs have been the most important medications for treating coronary artery disease. Nitroglycerin is best known as the little white pills that people carry with them and slip under the tongue when they have bouts of chest pain.
Nitrates help prevent or stop ischemia in several ways. They relax the muscles in the walls of the blood vessels, causing arteries and veins to dilate. When the coronary arteries dilate in response to nitroglycerin, the heart’s blood supply increases. Nitrates also reduce the heart’s work by lowering the body’s blood pressure and the pressure within the heart’s chambers. As a result, the heart requires less oxygen and places fewer demands on the coronary arteries.
Because nitrates dilate blood vessels throughout the body, they can cause a wide range of side effects, such as headache, dizziness, and even fainting spells. When people first start taking nitroglycerin, they are usually advised to sit down to avoid falling. Sitting is better than lying down because raising the legs to the level of the heart causes more blood to flow to the heart, increasing its workload.
Most people fear heart disease — and with good reason: it’s the leading cause of death for both men and women. But something that people may not realize is that preventing this disease is often within their control. Most people who develop heart disease have one or more major risk factors that are within their power to change. These include lack of exercise, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels. There are surefire ways to tackle these risk factors that you can include in your daily life.
People often complain about stress, but it’s a natural reaction with an essential purpose.
When the body senses danger, it starts its fight-or-flight response. Your nervous system releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which jolt the body into a protective mode. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breathing quickens, and your senses sharpen.
This type of stress response came in handy when early humans needed to fight for survival or flee a predator. But today, the threats arise from problems that disrupt our routines or from unfamiliar situations.
For instance, a flat tire is stressful because we don’t deal with it regularly. Hearing bad news like the sudden death of a family member causes stress because it’s unexpected, and we don’t know to cope.
As men age, they’re exposed to other kinds of stress, too, such as health issues, financial worries, or caring for a spouse or loved one.
Therefore, the problem with modern-day stress is not the trigger, but how you deal with it.
Change your behavior
When stress response becomes more frequent or stays longer — a state called chronic stress — it can cause excessive strain throughout the body, but especially on the heart.
We can imagined chronic stress as an engine that is always revved up too high and it can break down the body.
Chronic stress can become a blazing fire that sustains inflammation, higher blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and sleep disturbances. Coping with stress may result in less attention to correcting unhealthy behaviors, like smoking, heavy drinking, bad eating habits, and lack of exercise. All of these factors contribute to a higher risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a heart-healthy diet all can help temper stress and reduce its harmful effects. But if you need more help to cope better with stress when it occurs, change your reaction to stressors.
“Practicing certain behaviors can train your brain and body to mitigate your reaction to stressful situations, so you learn not to let chronic stress control you.” Here are three strategies he suggests.
Much research has shown that practicing gratitude can help lower stress levels. It is our deep faith, belief and being thankful to what we have and achieved, rather than longing for what we don’t have. Gratitude teaches that there are positive things going on in your life, so you don’t have to get stressed about perceived negative events.
In fact, a study published in September 2015 in Contemporary Clinical Trials found that people who practiced gratitude after a heart attack had faster recovery times compared with those who did not.
Another way to practice gratitude is to write thank-you notes, suggests a study in the September 2018 issue of Psychological Science. Researchers found that people who wrote a letter of appreciation to someone who’d done something nice for them felt more positive afterward.
You have no doubt overcome significant stressful events before, like a financial setback, personal tragedy, or health issue. When another crisis occurs, look back at the strength and creativity you showed to overcome them and try to replicate it.
When it comes to health problems, it is recommended to imagine the best possible outcome. For instance, if you are worried about an injury that keeps you off your feet for a while, focus on what can occur after your recovery, like taking a vacation.
Then begin to set health goals to meet that expectation, like doing rehab, training, or changing your diet. A proactive approach helps you develop optimistic health expectations.
This attitude can protect your heart from future problems, too. An analysis published online Sept. 27, 2019, by Cardiology looked at data from 15 studies involving almost 230,000 people and found that people who expressed constant feelings of optimism had a lower risk of cardiovascular problems compared with more pessimistic people.
Get SMART about stress relief
Most people can’t avoid stress. So how can you best deal with it?
Stress management need our comprehensive approach. The Stress Management and Resilience Training (SMART) program teaches self-care practices that help buffer daily stress and foster resilience — the ability to cope with stress.
During individual and group sessions, people learn about stress and its connection to physical or emotional problems. The program also emphasizes the importance of healthy eating, restorative sleep, and physical activity. One key focus is learning a variety of techniques to elicit the relaxation response, which is the opposite of the stress response.
The relaxation response can be elicited in many ways, including meditation or repetitive prayer. You can practice evoking this calming response with two simple steps:
· Choose a calming focus. Good examples are your breath, a sound (“om”), a short prayer, or a positive word (such as “relax” or “peace”) or phrase (“breathing in calm, breathing out tension”; “I am relaxed”). Repeat this aloud or silently as you inhale or exhale.
· Let go and relax. Don’t worry about how you’re doing. When you notice your mind has wandered, simply take a deep breath or say to yourself “thinking, thinking” and gently return your attention to your focus.
Doing this exercise for 10 to 20 minutes a day may help reduce the effects of stress on your body.
Find your sense of purpose
People without a sense of purpose often get easily stressed because they feel they are no longer in control of their lives. This can have a direct effect on heart health.
A study published in the February/March 2016 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine reviewed 10 studies, involving a total of 137,000 people, that dealt with death rates among people with a high or low sense of purpose.
Researchers found that a high sense of purpose was associated with a 23% lower rate of death from all causes during a given study period and a 19% lower rate of heart attacks, strokes, or the need for a bypass or stent procedure.
One way to regain your sense of purpose to focus on a health-related life goal. For instance, if you want to dance at your granddaughter’s wedding, you may have to take dance lessons. Or if you want to take a hiking trip, you may have to lose weight and increase leg strength by walking more. These types of life goals may feel small, but they can help you refocus your attention and energy, which can help build a stronger resistance to stress.
These small changes will bring big impact to your health and wellbeing
There are recent changes in definition of high blood pressure. The new guidelines lowered the definition for high blood pressure to 130/80 from 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), meaning more people now meet the criteria for stage one hypertension. In this section below we will understand what it means for us and what action we should take.
While you shouldn’t completely ignore the changes, there’s also no need to worry. The change, however, should make you more cautious about blood pressure. These guidelines have been expected from a long time. And, in fact welcome by most hypertension experts. They may seem hard to follow, but in putting the knowledge we’ve gained from large trials into clinical practice, they will help large population globally.
Why does hypertension matter?
Any of us in the range 130/80, reducing your blood pressure can help protect you from heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, and even cognitive decline. The goal of the new guidelines is to encourage you to treat your high blood pressure seriously and to take action to bring it down, primarily using lifestyle interventions. It is well documented that lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure as much as medicine can, and sometimes even more.
Making those changes can be challenging. More than one woman has woken up in the morning committed to healthy eating only to be derailed by our typical Indian breakfast every morning typically consisting “parathas” on a table in the morning a dinner out with friends, that would consist even more fried, packed and who knows? recooked stuff on your table.
How lower your blood pressure with small changes?
You don’t have to embark on a major life overhaul to make a difference in your blood pressure. Here are six simple tips for actions you can take to help get your blood pressure back into the normal range.
- Lose weight
By far the most effective means of reducing elevated blood pressure is to lose weight. And it doesn’t require major weight loss to make a difference. Even losing as little as 4.5 kgs. can lower your blood pressure.
- Read labels
We Indians, with our changing food habits wherein we have now started eating lot of packed food and snacks hardly read sodium labels on the packet. The recommended total amount is 1,500 milligrams (mg) daily for individuals with high blood pressure. It doesn’t take much sodium to reach that 1,500-mg daily cap — just 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt. There’s half of that amount of sodium in one breakfast sandwich. Weed out high-sodium foods by reading labels carefully. It is very difficult to lower dietary sodium without reading labels, unless you prepare all of your own food. the American Heart Association has called the “salty six,” common foods where high amounts of sodium may be lurking:
- breads and rolls
- cold cuts and cured meats
- Get moving
It doesn’t take much exercise make a difference in your health. Aim for a half-hour at least five days a week. Make sure you’re doing something you love, or it won’t stick, for some that means dancing; for others, biking or taking brisk walks with a friend. Even everyday activities such as gardening can help.
- Pump some iron
Add some weightlifting to your exercise regimen to help lose weight and stay fit. Women lose muscle mass steadily as they age, and weightlifting is an often-overlooked part of an exercise plan for most women. Therefore, if you’re a gym goer female don’t hesitate to be weightlifting.
- Limit alcohol to one drink per day
Drinking too much, too often, can increase your blood pressure, so practice moderation.
- Relieve stress with daily meditation or deep breathing sessions
Stress hormones constrict your blood vessels and can lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure. In addition, over time, stress can trigger unhealthy habits that put your cardiovascular health at risk. These might include overeating, poor sleep, and misusing drugs and alcohol. For all these reasons, reducing stress should be a priority if you’re looking to lower your blood pressure.