With about one in three adults suffering from high blood pressure, doctors call hypertension the “silent killer.” Though easily treated, many sufferers do not take steps to reverse the condition until confronted with a health scare. Left untreated, hypertension can directly contribute to heart disease, kidney and liver disease, arteriosclerosis, vision impairment, and stroke.
Possible CausesThough the exact cause of hypertension in most cases is unknown, researchers have found clear links between high blood pressure and unhealthy lifestyle choices like obesity, stress, and smoking. Excess alcohol use can contribute to hypertension, as can air pollutants and even perfume.
In about five percent of hypertension cases, high blood pressure is caused by abnormalities in the kidneys or the heart, or by narrowing of the arteries.
Signs and SymptomsHypertension earned its nickname as the “silent killer” because few sufferers ever experience overt symptoms of any kind. Rarely, sufferers might experience dizziness or nausea. But in almost every case of hypertension, patients discovered their condition while receiving treatment for another ailment or during a routine check up.
Treatments for HypertensionHerbalists have identified numerous natural remedies for hypertension and high blood pressure that you can easily add to your daily routine. Many of these therapies involve brewing and enjoying herbal tea, which reduces your overall stress level by forcing you to slow down and relax at least once per day. For many busy parents and professionals, this act alone creates a tremendous improvement in heart health.
Mistletoe isn’t just for Christmas or kissing anymore. European healers have used this plant for years to regulate blood pressure. Mixed with hawthorn and lime blossom into a tea, mistletoe can provide an excellent natural alternative to harsh blood thinners.
If you enjoy Indian food, you can find plenty of excuses to visit your favourite restaurants. Many spices popular among Indian chefs help reduce blood pressure and boost immunity. Saffron can have an especially profound effect on your hypertension, and you can enjoy it in tea or as part of a meal.
Recent studies suggest that patients who drank a tea containing kudzu root experienced a sharp drop in blood pressure. Kudzu packs a powerful antioxidant punch, about one hundred times stronger than the typical dose of vitamin E. The roots and flowers of kudzu (Pueraria lobata) have long been used in Chinese herbalism to help lessen the desire for alcohol and aside from controlling hypertension, it can also help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Finally, one of the most overlooked hypertension remedies might be right under your nose. Garlic contains extraordinary healing properties, and patients who make it a part of their everyday routines have shown improvements of twenty and even thirty percent. Even one clove of garlic a day can make a difference. If you (or your loved ones) cannot tolerate the smell of garlic on your breath, then take advantage of the many capsule formulations on the market.
Preventative MeasuresInstead of waiting until your next check up to deal with the possibility of hypertension, you can take steps today to prevent it from showing up in the first place. If you smoke, you should quit as soon as possible. If you tried to quit in the past and became frustrated, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone and try to quit again. It may take many attempts before you find the right combination of new routines and habits to replace smoking in your day to day life. As soon as you quit smoking, you will immediately reduce your risk of hypertension and other heart ailments.
Whether you cook for yourself or you eat out often, you can quickly cut your blood pressure by reducing the salt in your diet. Resist the urge to sprinkle salt on your food. Try blends of herbs and spices to add flavour instead. Keeping your daily sodium intake under 2.4 grams can improve your overall heart health while reducing your risk of hypertension. Eat a diet rich with blood pressure regulating nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. Foods such as oily fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, whole grains and garlic will all help.
Find a regular, aerobic activity that you enjoy doing three or more times each week, to improve your circulation and decrease your blood pressure even further. Even a brisk, half-hour walk can cut your health risks significantly or take up dance lessons if you can't see yourself going to a gym.
Final ThoughtsIt’s easy to overlook a condition that doesn’t alarm us with pain or other warning signs. However, hypertension claims so many lives, simply because people procrastinate by telling themselves that they’ll worry about their health when they’re less busy. Your health really does deserve the same amount of attention as the other people and responsibilities in your life. Making a few simple lifestyle changes today can reverse hypertension and buy you many more years of a healthy, enjoyable lifestyle.