Introduction to Hypertension
Hypertension, along with diabetes, coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease, is among the most common medical conditions seen in individuals 35 and above. There are approximately 70 million Americans who are known to be hypertensive, and that number is growing as we speak. Hypertension presents with high blood pressure that if uncontrolled for a long period of time, can lead to heart attack, stroke and ultimately death.
Luckily, hypertension is something that is easily identified and there are available medications that doctors can recommend for controlling high blood pressure. However, if you are one of the many people who have been affected by this ‘silent killer,’ it would do you well to find drug-free ways to lower your blood pressure before deciding to ask your doctor for maintenance medications. Here are a few natural remedies to help you lower your blood pressure and avoid its deadly complications.
Beating Hypertension Naturally
This involves changing what you eat and how you eat it. Avoiding pork and beef is one of the best ways to manage your blood pressure, red meat being among the culprits of hypertension because of their high amounts of sodium and trans fat. Consume more fruits and vegetables and if you plan to eat meat, prepare only a small portion and boil or grill it instead of cooking it with oil.
A diet that is less in sugar is also a helpful way of dropping your blood pressure, as too much sugar in the body causes weight gain and is known to contribute to increased heart rate, inflammatory processes, and metabolic dysfunction. And as too much sugar is unhealthy, so is too much salt. Salt retains water and other fluids in the body. Therefore, excessive salt intake further increases blood pressure and subsequently destroys the kidneys.
Taking supplements such as fish oil, which is loaded with Omega-3, effectively lowers blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
This generally means having to turn your life upside down – that is, if you are a coffee addict or a party animal who loves to smoke or drink too much alcohol. Although there have been proven benefits of consuming moderate amounts of caffeine and alcohol daily, excessive consumption most often contributes to a heightened blood pressure, as these two substances are stimulants or uppers. This may often lead to heart palpitations.
Smoking, on the other hand, is undoubtedly a dangerous habit that not only increases blood pressure but also significantly decreases your lifespan. Dr. Mehmet Oz says, “Smokers have one thing in common besides bad breath and smelly clothes: An increased risk for premature death.” Yes, smokers often die before their time.
If you are obese or overweight, it is possible that your blood pressure will further increase with strenuous activity. You may start with relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.
However, if you have an active lifestyle, you can start formulating a regular exercise regimen, or ask help from a health coach so you’ll know what exercises are beneficial for you. Recommended activities for individuals with hypertension are cardiovascular exercises like aerobics, biking, and swimming. Strength training using light to moderate weights builds muscle and promotes weight loss, and is therefore beneficial to reducing blood pressure and stopping hypertension.
Hypertension carries some life-threatening illnesses that may not be remedied by natural ways. That is why it is important to avoid or stop the symptoms of hypertension before it further damages your physical, emotional and mental health. However, if these natural remedies can no longer lower your blood pressure effectively, you must visit your doctor so he can evaluate and assess you, and provide you with a more structured medical treatment.