High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the most common form of cardiovascular disease in the United States. At latest estimates, more than 50 million people suffer from this silent killer. Common symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, facial flushing and chronic nosebleeds. Conventional medicine treats hypertension with medication, which can lead to unwanted side effects and drug dependency. These chemical “cures” can sometimes lead to health issues that are equally as serious as the disorder they were designed to treat. However, patients with high blood pressure can use natural healing techniques to manage their hypertension, avoiding unwanted chemical side effects as make their return to peak health.
The Causes of Hypertension
Primary Hypertension, the most common form of high blood pressure, has no specific underlying causes. What is known, however, is that there are a number of lifestyle factors that that can contribute to a patient’s high blood pressure. Weight, and lack of exercise, are prime causes of hypertension in patients with no other underlying condition. Also, the use of tobacco and alcohol contributes greatly to the instances of hypertension in otherwise healthy adults. Dietary factors, specifically an overabundance of sodium, are also prime contributors to the onset of primary hypertension.
Secondary Hypertension, refers to those instances of high blood pressure that are caused by another underlying health condition. Diabetes, kidney disease and various hormone disorders can cause high blood pressure in patients. While these underlying disorders must be treated in and of themselves, there are still natural methods patients can use to reduce hypertension, and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Treating Hypertension with Diet and Nutrition
Because high blood pressure puts stress on other organs, it is important to take steps to get it under control. The first, and most basic, method of controlling high blood pressure is through diet and exercise. This begins by making dietary adjustments, and eliminating foods and toxins that greatly contribute to a patient’s hypertension. Salt, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco intakes should all be reduced, and in some cases eliminated entirely. Highly processed foods are also discouraged, as they are prime sources of hidden salts and sugars, as well as chemical additives that can contribute to the instances of high blood pressure.
Simply eliminating certain items from the diet is not enough, however, and patients with high blood pressure should also make proactive changes by adding vitamin rich foods to their daily routines. Fresh fruits and vegetables, in addition to being good sources of naturally occurring vitamins, help to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Seeds like flax and hemp are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which have a positive effect on blood pressure, and the cardiovascular system as a whole.
Hypertension can also be brought under control through a regimen of vitamin and herbals supplements. Garlic is the most important herb to take when trying to balance ones blood pressure. Garlic must be taken raw not cooked and preferred up to 5 cloves per day; Hawthorne and Vitamin C have all been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of high blood pressure in patients with both Primary and Secondary Hypertension. Folate, a B vitamin (that is rich in avocados), has also been shown to reduce hypertension, particularly in those patients who use tobacco regularly. People who have difficulty adding enough flax and hemp seeds to their diets may choose to consider taking plant source EPA/DHA supplements to help compensate for what they are not getting through their daily meals.
Stress and Meditation
One of the major contributors to hypertension is stress. While a healthy diet and exercise, or lack thereof, have a profound effect on the cardiovascular system, physical and emotional stress also play a large part in the overall health of the body. For patients with hypertension, the elimination and management of daily stress is as important as any dietary changes. There are many stress management techniques that can be employed, including prayer and meditation. Prayer, praise and thankfulness has long been used as a stress reducer, and as a way of improving the health of the body and mind. Meditation on God’s word and His promises teaches one to rest in Him in the storms of life. This is the calm in the midst of any storm no matter how big. It is important to be in the world but not let the world be in you. Prayer, praise, thankfulness and meditation on God’s word can go a long way towards relieving hypertension naturally, and without resorting to conventional chemical treatments.
High Blood Pressure, or Hypertension, has been called ‘the silent killer’ because so many of it’s symptoms go unrecognized, or attributed to other less serious maladies. Through natural healing methods, people with both Primary and Secondary Hypertension can bring their high blood pressure under control, and protect the health of their cardiovascular. For healthy men and women, diet and exercise combined with living a life of thankfulness, prayer and meditation can help them avoid the onset of hypertension entirely.