Hypertension, which occurs when the blood pressure in your arteries is too high, can lead to blood vessel diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, and leg pain caused during walking. As hypertension does not cause any symptoms until the damage is already done, it is important to have your blood pressure checked occasionally.
Although it is sometimes necessary to use medications to keep your blood pressure under control, this can often also be done naturally. In my experience, the best approach is to use medications to initially bring your blood pressure under control. After it has been normalized for three months, natural therapies can often keep your blood pressure at a healthy level and allow your physician to wean you off the medications.
Unlike cholesterol medicines, which may be more harmful than helpful for most people, blood pressure medications actually do save a lot of lives. If you have elevated blood pressure, add (or continue) the medications to lower the pressure, and then use the natural treatments. After three months, you'll often find that your doctor can taper you off your blood pressure medications and still maintain a healthy pressure.
- Maintain a proper weight.
- Begin an exercise program, as this helps lower high blood pressure. Best to do a walking program outdoors, as the vitamin D made from sunshine can actually help lower high blood pressure.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine. Try leaving these off for two weeks and then recheck your blood pressure.
Recommended Supplements to Optimize Blood Pressure
Correcting nutritional deficiencies can also be very helpful in lowering high blood pressure. Take the following:
- To get optimal levels of vitamins A, C, D, and magnesium, take a good multivitamin powder.
- Calcium 500-1,000 milligrams (mg). Take in the form of 1 to 2 portions of milk products daily. Calcium pills may increase heart attack risk, whereas food calcium does not.
- The amount of potassium found in one banana or a half an avocado and one cup of coconut water, tomato, or V8 juice a day can also help normalize blood pressure.
- Coenzyme Q10, 200 milligrams a day, can be very effective at lowering high blood pressure. I have seen it lower blood pressure as much as 30 to 40 points in some severe cases. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency is especially common in people taking cholesterol-lowering medications. This is mostly needed in hard to treat cases.
- Although it only lowers blood pressure by 3-4 mm, dark chocolate tastes good and is high in healthy antioxidants!
Other Therapies & Advice to Lower High Blood Pressure
- Check for metabolic syndrome. If you are male, overweight, have a combination of high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, and perhaps even have insulin resistance or diabetes, you probably have metabolic syndrome. This is often caused by a low testosterone level (even if it is in the low normal range, for example a total testosterone level of 450), and simply taking natural bioidentical testosterone (by prescription) can reverse all of the above problems while leaving you feeling much better!
- Check for sleep apnea. Consider this if you're overweight and snore.
- Check for allergies. Food allergies can trigger high blood pressure. If your pulse or temperature regularly go up after you eat, consider allergy desensitization using NAET. To see if food allergies are causing your high blood pressure, consider a Multiple Food Elimination Diet to see if your pressure goes down.
- Make sure you don't have "white coat hypertension." Some people's blood pressure shoots up whenever they see a doctor. For many people, this is the only time their blood pressure goes up, so they end up being treated for high blood pressure when they don't have it. Many grocery store and drugstore pharmacies have a blood pressure machine for the public which you can use. Check three readings each visit (one right after the other) to make sure that they are consistent. After you get used to the blood pressure machines, you may find that your blood pressures are lower.
The Mind/Body Connection of High Blood Pressure
Don't forget the mind/body component. Some of us are like pressure cookers, and when we close down our "steam release valve" the pressure builds up inside of us. We may look calm on the outside but have high blood pressure on the inside. Give yourself permission to have a good hissy fit once in a while to blow off steam. It can help your elevated blood pressure to come down.