High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

Monitor showing a healthy blood pressure - hypertension reduced by medication.
Monitor showing a healthy blood pressure - hypertension reduced by medication.

What is Hypertension?

High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when the force exerted by your blood against the blood vessel walls is too strong, forcing your heart to work harder and vessel walls to harden.

75% of the population over 60 have hypertension and conventional physicians don’t always know the actual cause so treat the symptoms while the cause continues to exist. If not treated physical damage to the heart, arteries, brain and kidneys can occur, the consequences are arteriosclerosis, angina, heart attack, dementia and stroke.

Hypertension can be the result of a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. Deep fried, fatty and oily food, alcohol, smoking and too much salt contribute to high blood pressure. The risk factors of stress, negative emotions and heredity increase the likelihood of the condition.

Symptoms of Hypertension


  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Vision changes
  • Noise or buzzing sound in the ears
  • Insomnia
  • Redness or flushing on the face
  • Hot palms and feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations
  • Nosebleed
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Chest pain

Treating Hypertension Naturally


If you would prefer to follow the more natural path for controlling hypertension, please discuss your ideas with your Doctor so that the best plan of action may be worked out. Remember, not taking steps to bring down your blood pressure will affect your longevity.


Diet:

A healthy and balanced diet of whole fruits and vegetables, lean meat with a limited amount of red meat, and fish, including fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna. Salt intake must be limited to 1 teaspoon in total per day.

Ayurvedic Dietary Suggestions:

  • Avoid meat, eggs and salt.
  • Reduce the intake of proteins
  • Reduce coffee-consumption as the caffeine increases the body’s adrenaline production, which is responsible for high blood pressure.
  • Reduce the use of sodium, salt, in your diet.


People who are overweight are more likely to develop hypertension. Should you need to lose weight the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is excellent.

Exercise moderately and practise relaxation techniques like yoga or mindfulness meditation.

Natural therapies:

Acupuncture, autogenic training and biofeedback are effective treatment methods.

5 Major Effects of Blood Pressure

Natural Alternatives to Beta Blockers


Beta blockers are generally prescribed for heart related ailments and high blood pressure. Although the side effects are rare, natural beta blockers are available.

Please ensure you speak to your medical professional before taking the following or mixing them with other beta blockers.

Here are some of them:

Passion Flower: A naturally grown medicinal herb which acts as a tranquilizer for the patients suffering from insomnia, anxiety and restlessness. It is readily available, non-addictive and is an effective relaxer, pain reliever and muscle relaxant.

Hawthorn: Widely used in Europe to treat cardiovascular problems as it widens the blood vessels.

Chamomile Tea: This tea is a natural beta blocker, rich in antioxidants which neutralizes free radicals.

L-arginine: Is an amino acid and plays an important role in the functioning of the human body. It is a building block of proteins and arginine is one of the many amino acids. Normally sesame seeds, chocolate and grains are sources of arginine.

Pomegranate Juice: Is rich in antioxidants and has more than green tea and red wine. Pomegranate juice is becoming a popular beta blocker.

Coenzyme Q10 is a potent antioxidant that may help hypertension and arthritis when taken over months. It also helps to relieve some of the aches and pains experienced when taking heart ailment, diabetes and cancer medication. Food sources are:

  • Sardines
  • Peanuts
  • Spinach


Breathing exercises: These are best done when sitting in an upright position. Exhale with the tongue touching the upper front teeth until your lungs are empty. Inhale while counting to five, hold your breath for five counts and then exhale. Repeat this cycle ten times. This exercise can be done anywhere and is an easy way to decrease anxiety and blood pressure.

Exercise and friendship - an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise and friendship - an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium

This trio work together in the body to aid normal nerve and muscle function, steady the heart beat and give us strong bones and promote a healthy immune system.

Too much salt in the body can keep potassium and magnesium from working as it should, while diuretics often prescribed for high blood pressure, can flush potassium and magnesium as well as sodium from the body.


As a guide we need about 4,700mg potassium per day so as a guide a banana contains about 400 mg and three apricots would be about 314.

Potassium
Magnesium
Calcium
Apricots
Whole-grain bread
Almonds
Avocado
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Broccoli
Bananas
Halibut
Dairy Products (Low-fat)
Melons
Most nuts, Almonds & Cashews
Orange Juice
Kiwi Fruit
Soybeans
Salmon
Lima Beans
Oatmeal
Spinach
Milk
Potatoes
Snap green beans
Oranges
Peanut butter
Tofu
Potatoes
Black eyed peas
 
Spinach
Yoghurt
 
Tomatoes
 
 
Meat
 
 
Fish
 
 
Poultry
 
 
 
 
 

Lifestyle Changes to help Hypertension and DASH diet.

Further Considerations

Water is the best natural diuretic. If the water intake is increased gradually and more urine is being produced, the oedema fluid (swelling) that is full of toxic substances will be flushed out.

If we do not drink sufficient water, the only other way the body has to secure water is through the mechanism of keeping sodium in the body which, as we know, contributes to hypertension.


Vitamins: Many vitamins have been shown to have an effect on blood pressure, particularly vitamins C, E, B5 and Folic Acid.

Lecithin helps the body to eliminate fat and can improve liver function. A good source is egg yolk.

Fish Oil : The omega 3 fatty acid is good for the heart and lowering blood pressure. A tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily lowers blood pressure, so that could be an alternative to the fish oil.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Is great from many things from lowering cholesterol to helping with arthritis. It reputedly also helps to lower blood pressure.

Cayenne Pepper: This herb is thought to benefit the heart by improving circulation and keeps the arteries from hardening. A teaspoon of cayenne stirred into a glass of water and drink twice daily.

Green Tea: Drinking as little as half a cup per day for a year could cut the risk of hypertension by up to 50%. Polyphenols in green tea are thought to be the reason for the health benefits associated with green tea.

Get Enough Sleep.

If you aren’t getting enough good sleep it can affect your blood pressure as you’ll be stressed more easily. The right kind of sleep can really improve the quality of your life and give you more energy.

About half of all sleep apnoea patients are thought to have high blood pressure – so learn about this and if it is your problem get yourself treated.

Chocolate – I like this! Drinking cocoa lowers blood pressure and reduced the risk of death in older men. Flavan-3-ols found in dark chocolate have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels.

Do you have hypertension?

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Finally ....

As you can see there are many things you can take to help control your blood pressure. Again, ensure you follow your doctor's instructions as not taking control will affect your health and therefore your longevity.

Ensure you understand what is being prescribed for you and the side effects. Look for good quality natural supplements to add to your diet and exercise.

Most importantly, talk to your Doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle.

More by this Author


23 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Such great information, Shelley, and you presented it in an easy to understand format. I am lucky so far, or maybe I'm living a better lifestyle than I thought....LOL...but my blood pressure is excellent.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

Very interesting! I have issues. My highest reading was stroke level and had to be placed in the emergency heart wing at Yale.

They don't know why. I go back October 10 for a check-up.

I take vitamins including Vit B and Magnesium. I walk 1-3 miles a day. I have never smoked.

I also heard apple cider vinegar is good for acid reflux. How would you suggest taking it?


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

A very well written hub about Hypertension!

Following a healthy lifestyle from a very young age and the required awareness helps to prevent Hypertension.

Well done and very useful, Voted up!


europewalker profile image

europewalker 3 years ago

Excellent and informative hub. I control my blood pressure with diet. It was borderline for a while. Vote up.


Lastheart profile image

Lastheart 3 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

GGreat work, thanks for taking care of us. Keeping this hub for reference.


Majidsiko profile image

Majidsiko 3 years ago from Kenya

Just a word of caution, by the time you have hypertensive symptoms you have had significant damage to your organs. When hypertension is symptomatic its called a Hypertensive emergency, and requires admission to a hospital and controlled reduction of the blood pressures with Intravenous anti-hypertensives.


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 3 years ago Author

billybuc, thank you for visiting. Your lifestyle is obviously perfect - perhaps you should let us into more of your secrets!

CraftytotheCore, Good grief, I have a friend whose level was frighteningly high too. She is now well under control, stopped sugar intake completely to drop weight and her medication is doing its job well. So you'll get there too!

As far as Apple Cider vinegar is concerned, it does have acetic acid in it so be sure it doesn't adversely affect you. Rather take it in capsule form first thing in the morning for its other properties (cholesterol lowering etc.), however, those for whom it does work for acid reflux, take the liquid. One teaspoon up to tablespoon in half a glass of water and swallow. If it does work for you, the effects are very quick. It's important that onstant reflux should be checked out by your Doctor. Thank you for stopping by!

ChitrangadaSharan, So glad you visited, many thanks for your comments!


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 3 years ago Author

Thank you for reading, I, too, use diet and it's managing to maintain itself!


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 3 years ago Author

Lastheart - so happy you found it useful for the future and not right now!


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 3 years ago Author

Majidsiko, Thank you for the visit and the very useful information you've left to add substance to my hub! Hope all is well with your corner of the world - my thoughts are with you.


Majidsiko profile image

Majidsiko 3 years ago from Kenya

Thanks


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension with a healthy diet it can be prevented or controlled, informative, useful and worth a read to any one with such health issues.


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 3 years ago Author

DDE thank you for visiting and your thoughtful comment.


Rebecca Furtado profile image

Rebecca Furtado 3 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

Very useful article including the supplements and dietary changes needed.


JPSO138 profile image

JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

I have responded to a lot of hypertensive victims when I was still working with rescue. Some of them have been paralyzed by stroke and some have suffered death. It is really important to monitor our blood pressure as well as our food intake. Great hub.. voted up and useful!


Sarastheboss profile image

Sarastheboss 2 years ago from Northern Illinois

Great information, will definitely be sharing this one.


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 2 years ago Author

Hi Saratheboss, Thanks so much for stopping by and the share!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

This is well written and convinces me I'm screwed, although I do have the sleep thing nailed. I didn't even know there was a vitamin B5. Voted up and more, plus sharing.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

Wonderful and informative hub on high blood pressure. I was diagnosed with it about ten years ago. I'm on supplements like Fish Oil and also take a medication and walk a few miles a day.

It's good to get hypertension taken care of ASAP so it doesn't strain your organs and heart. I'm sharing this all over including Pinterest. You did an incredible job on this hub Shelley :-) Voted up and hit many buttons.


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 2 years ago Author

FlourishAnyway, thank you so much for the compliment, most appreciated. I've also got that sleeping thing nailed! Yay, it took some time to. Thank you for helping me with the votes and the generous sharing.

Minnetonka Twin,

So glad to meet you, glad you stopped by to add dimension to my hub, and your very generous votes. Thank you.


Lisa Keatts profile image

Lisa Keatts 2 years ago from Virginia

Great article! My husband is currently on 2 medications for high blood pressure and doesn't take it seriously. I have to figure out ways to get his blood pressure down. Thanks for the information.


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 2 years ago Author

Lisa Keatts, My husband too, I have to take it seriously for him and cook differently (less salt, grill food, watch he or I cuts the fat off meat, etc.) Thanks so much for chiming in here.


Sandra Eastman profile image

Sandra Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

Shelley

Came across this one. Really good to see all the natural stuff because it really does work. Great hub

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