- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Taking the Pressure out of High Blood Pressure .... Naturally
What is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (HBP), also called hypertension, is serious. Left untreated, it can lead to many life-threatening health issues.
“Blood Pressure” is the force of blood pushing against the arterial walls as the heart pumps blood. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 for a healthy adult. A blood pressure reading of 140/90 and above is considered high. But, for someone with diabetes or chronic kidney disease, a reading of 130/80 or higher needs to be addressed. High blood pressure can lead to serious damage to various parts of the body.
About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure. It typically has no warning signs or symptoms. Headaches are reported in a small number of cases. Since high blood pressure can begin before the age of twenty, a person can easily have hypertension for a long time without knowing it. Due to its lack of symptoms, the health problems caused by high blood pressure – damage to the heart, blood vessels and kidneys – often lead to its diagnosis.
Drugs and Tests Used to Treat Hypertension are Dangerous
Hypertension is unhealthy and damaging to the body. The drugs used to treat it are even worse. Their side effects may cause serious health problems, including heart failure after extended use.
Going off high blood pressure medications is also dangerous. It should be done slowly and cautiously. Dangerous spikes in blood pressure may occur when weaning off these drugs. Extremely high blood pressure during the weaning off process may require emergency hospital treatment.
Blood Pressure Cuffs
The stress test used as part of the conventional treatment process is more than uncomfortable. It can be dangerous. It has caused heart attacks both during and after the test, even hours later. It cannot be used as a stand-alone diagnostic tool making it somewhat useless. According to Dr. Deepak Bhatt, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of cardiology for the VA Boston Healthcare System, “The test result is never, by itself, certain … It can’t absolutely rule it [CAD] out or diagnose it.”
Stress tests do not accurately diagnose all cases of coronary artery disease (CAD). Sometimes it even misdiagnoses people as having CAD when they do not. Positive results on stress tests always lead to more expensive testing.
The Ankle-Brachial Test is Better
The Ankle-Brachial Test may be an effective way to verify if you have CAD. It can be done quickly and easily.
The test is performed by:
- Taking your blood pressure normally in a seated position. Record the result of the systolic pressure (the top number).
- Lay down flat on your back.
- Taking your blood pressure at the ankle. Cuff should be placed right above the bone that sticks out. Record the systolic (top number) result.
- Compare the numbers of the two: leg systolic / arm systolic. An example would be 130/120. The leg systolic measurement should be higher causing the resulting number to be greater than 1.0: 130/120 = 1.08
A resulting number greater than 1.0 indicates that the arteries are healthy.
The logic behind this test makes sense. The arteries in the legs would need to exert more pressure to move the blood through the legs than would be needed to move the blood through the arms. Additionally, signs of atherosclerosis and clotting disorders show symptoms in the legs well before anywhere else in the body. Therefore, this test is a great alternative for early detection of heart disease.
Making Lifestyle Choices and Changes to Improve Blood Pressure
Prescribed drugs only ease the symptoms of hypertension. They do not deal with the underlying cause.
If you have high blood pressure, consider these questions:
- Are you stressed?
- Are you dehydrated from not drinking enough water?
- Do you smoke?
- Are you eating a lot of processed foods?
- Are you overweight?
- Do you exercise regularly?
All of these things are important to consider if you have high blood pressure. Fortunately, all of these things are totally within your control to change as well.
Treating and Preventing High Blood Pressure … Naturally
If you have high blood pressure, or you want to prevent it, there are things you can do to control it naturally.
Let’s look at them now.
- If you are overweight, lose those excess pounds. Eat frequent smaller and healthier meals that include lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Do not skip meals. Do not use diet products. Avoid sugar and products containing sugar and corn syrup. Avoid processed foods.
- Practice meditation and deep breathing as a way to reduce and eliminate stress.
- Drink more water. Avoid caffeinated beverages. They are dehydrating.
- If you smoke, quit.
- Exercise regularly – 3 or more times per week. If you do not currently have an exercise regimen, begin slowly and work your way up in intensity and duration. Walking is an excellent cardiac exercise that is free and easy.
- Use unprocessed sea salt instead of regular table salt. If you have high blood pressure, eliminate all processed sodium sources such as monosodium glutamate.
Try a Garlic Supplement to Improve your Heart Health
A garlic supplement, such a Garlique, enables you to take full advantage of the benefits of garlic without the bad breath often associated with it. Garlique is one of the garlic supplements that also addresses the problem of belching that often accompanies the use of garlic supplements.
Looking for American Ginseng?
Herbs and Supplements to Treat and Prevent High Blood Pressure
In addition to the lifestyle changes discussed, herbs and supplements can be used to boost your heart health.
- Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Garlic is a key herb used for heart and cardiovascular health. When taken regularly, it also has moderate blood pressure lowering abilities.
- Hawthorn is an excellent herb for overall heart health.
- American ginseng (panax quinquefolius) has been used medicinally for over two thousand years. In China, Panax ginseng is widely used as a tonic for the heart and blood vessels. It is also used to increase calmness and reduce stress. The American ginseng variant is used to reduce cholesterol levels, normalize blood pressure, and improve heart health.
- L-taurine regulates blood pressure. It also balances the sodium and potassium levels in the blood.
- CoQ10 is a great heart tonic. It is beneficial when weaning off blood pressure medications.
- Cayenne is used to regulate blood pressure.
- Vitamin E acts as a blood thinner. It is used to normalize blood pressure. It should be avoided by women during menstruation.
In closing ….
Taking control of your blood pressure is clearly within your grasp. It can be done easily and naturally. By applying these simple tips and techniques, you will be well on your way to a new level of heart health.