We doctors know it’s difficult to get our patients enthused about taking blood pressure medicines. Our plea that “this will help you to prevent problems in the future” doesn’t compel most people just struggling to make it through the day. And of course, it’s hard to convince someone to take medicines that often have unpleasant side effects to control a condition that has no noticeable symptoms. A lot of doctors acknowledge that high blood pressure is probably overtreated. Mild-to-moderate pressure levels (140/90 to 160/100 mm Hg) can usually be reversed by lifestyle changes alone. Levels consistently above these numbers do require medical treatment. However, despite the American Heart Association’s statement that blood pressure medicine is a lifetime commitment, if successful lifestyle changes create a new and healthier you, there’s no reason why (with your doctor’s help) you can’t begin to trim down your morning load of prescription pills–maybe even to none.