Hypertension Prevention - Some Tips

Wish to learn a little about hypertension prevention?

Physicians diagnose hypertension, also called high blood pressure (HBP, HTN or HPN), when the patient’s blood pressure appears to be constantly (chronically) elevated.

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A note about Hypertension Prevention - Some Tips

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

Most hypertension cases (approximately 90 – 95 %) can be classified as essential hypertension, that is, that the condition cannot be attributed to any one other disease. That is, it stands alone as a chronic condition rather than being the secondary bi-product of a disease such as kidney disease.

Hypertension left untreated can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, aneurysms, and chronic renal failure. Even mildly elevated blood pressure has been shown to shorten life expectancy. Hypertension prevention and treatment are thus important.

Many risk factors can lead to hypertension, and have become endemic to modern society - a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and excessive alcohol intake. Family history, vitamin D deficiency, insulin resistance, sodium sensitivity, and renin elevation have also been shown to increase the risk.

Most patients do not experience any specific symptoms related to their hypertension, and like a heart attack, it can be a “silent killer.” Headaches occur in patients with severe hypertension, as well as dizziness, blurred vision, chronic fatigue, heart palpitations, a flushed complexion, and sometimes impotence in men.

Hypertension can be prevented, even when an individual has been found to be genetically predisposed.

The following hypertension prevention techniques will greatly reduce the incidence of hypertension if followed carefully.

Like many similar conditions, early intervention plays a key role. If the individual follows these suggestions early in life, the hypertension prevention success will be much greater than if an individual chooses to be less thoughtful about their health and well being. Every preventative measure seriously taken will lessen the chance of a medical disaster later on in life. Drug therapy should really be the means of last resort in treating this condition. Non-pharmacological options have far fewer side-effects and more lasting results.

As obesity or excessive weight can be key risk factors, a weight reduction program and regular exercise regimen (at a minimum of three times per week) should be followed for hypertension prevention. As numerous studies show, exercise improves blood flow and helps to reduce resting heart rate and blood pressure. Both low intensity exercise and higher intensity exercise will lower blood pressure over time, so the individual should choose the routine that best suits their personality and schedule.

Several dietary modifications should be made, in addition to a weight loss program, if necessary. First, reduce dietary sugar intake. Likewise, reduce sodium in the diet. A salt substitute can be used if one has become very accustomed to the flavor. Additional dietary changes include what has been termed the DASH diet (dietary approaches to stop hypertension), one abundant in fruits and vegetables as well as low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.

In addition, an increase in daily calcium intake increases dietary potassium, which seems to counterbalance sodium and act on the kidneys to decrease blood pressure. Should you wish to take further dietary precautions, abstain from white flour products, cane sugar, meats, and very stimulating foods such as certain spice foods. Remember also that sodium lurks in items such as pickles and in most canned products. Be sure to read labels.

Adequate sleep and rest will also be beneficial in hypertension prevention. If you suffer from insomnia, or restlessness that prevents a sound sleep, take an herb shown to induce sleep (such as chamomile).

Gentle massages and some detoxification rituals will also help “cleanse” the blood and rejuvenate the system.

As part of any healthy lifestyle, tobacco products should be discontinued and alcohol reduced or eliminated. Studies have shown (the reasons remain unknown) that systolic blood pressure increases after alcohol or nicotine consumption. Smoking cessation also reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. Caffeine ingestion, however, also increases blood pressure temporarily, but does not produce chronic hypertension.

Stress reduction has been shown to reduce the risk of hypertension. Various methods can be used, such as specific relaxation therapies (meditation, deep breathing techniques, yoga, tai chi, or mind-body awareness techniques), reducing environmental stress (high volume or intense lighting) and other alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, acupressure, or energy medicine.

Several herbal remedies and supplements can be used in a preventative capacity. The following herbs have been used for hypertension prevention and treatment: broom, black cohosh, blue cohosh, boneset, hyssop, myrrh, sanicle, skullcap, valerian, and wild cherry bark.

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