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 occasionally have your blood pressure checked.
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. Once it is normalized, 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.
Diet and Exercise
Don't be overweight
To lose the weight, see Weight Loss. Be sure to also begin an exercise program as this helps lower high blood pressure. Best to do a walking program outdoors, as the vitamin D 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.
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 multi-nutrient powder.
Calcium 500-1,000 mg (take it at bed time and consider taking part of the dose at dinner).
The amount of potassium found in one banana and 1 cup of coconut water (at Safeway and most health food stores), tomato or V8 juice a day can also help normalize blood pressure.
Coenzyme Q10 200 milligrams a day can also be very effective. 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. Be sure to use the Enzymatic Therapy or Integrative Therapeutics chewable brands, as quality control is a problem for many brands of Coenzyme Q10. This is mostly needed in hard to treat cases.
Although it only lowers blood pressure by 3-4 mm, it tastes good and is high in healthy antioxidants!
Other Therapies & Advice
Check for metabolic syndrome
If you are male, overweight, have 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 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 also trigger high blood pressure. If your pulse or temperature regularly go up after you eat, consider allergy desensitization using NAET (see www.NAET.com). To see if food allergies are causing your high blood pressure, consider a Multiple Food Elimination Diet to see if your pressure goes down. (See online references below.)
White coat hypertension
Make sure you don’t only 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 (you actually sit in it). 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.
Blow off some steam
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 actually have high blood pressure on the inside. Give yourself permission to have a good hissy fit once in awhile to blow off steam. It can help your elevated blood pressure to come down.
More Information Online
NAET (acupressure technique for treating food allergies)