High Blood Pressure
What is high blood pressure/hypertension?
Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps. It is determined by both the amount of blood flowing through the arteries and the amount of resistance in the arteries. If the arteries are clogged, due to excessive calcification or the buildup of plaque or cholesterol for instance, more blood is being forced through a narrower opening, causing more pressure.
Hypertension can be dangerous and may lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney disease, and more.
There are 2 types of high blood pressure: primary, or essential and secondary. Primary hypertension is the most common form. It develops gradually over many years and, in most cases, has no identifiable cause, according to conventional doctors. Secondary hypertension comes on suddenly and tends to cause higher pressure than primary. It is caused by another medical condition, such as kidney or thyroid problems, some prescription or over-the-counter drugs (birth control pills, decongestants, pain relievers), alcohol abuse, adrenal gland tumors, obstructive sleep apnea or congenital blood vessel defects.
There are usually no symptoms of high blood pressure and is therefore important to have it checked routinely. Some, however, may experience headaches, lightheadedness, dizziness, fatigue, or visual disturbances.
Traditionally, hypertension has been treated using medication and lifestyle changes. There are several ways that different medication will treat this condition, including alpha blockers, which help relax the blood vessel, beta blockers, which make the heart beat slower, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), which prevent the blood vessels from constricting by blocking calcium from entering the cells, and more. As with any prescription drug there are side effects. Some of the more common antihypertensive side effects include:
- Chest pain, heart palpitations or arrhythmia
- Cough, fever, congestion, upper respiratory infection
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Sexual dysfunction
- Skin rash
- Weight gain or loss
- Fatigue or lethargy
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we start by emphasizing the importance of a whole food, plant-based diet that is very low in sugar and simple carbohydrates. Adding relaxation techniques, stress reduction, yoga, or meditation are integral parts of lowering blood pressure, along with a structured stretching and exercise program. Weight loss and smoking cessation are essential (if applicable).
We have found that many patients with high blood pressure have nutrient imbalances. We take a thorough look at your nutrient and biochemical status and make appropriate recommendations using nutrients, botanicals, and other nutraceuticals. Some are found to have high levels of heavy metals and other chemicals that contribute to high blood pressure (and other health issues) which we also then address. Our experience has been that most patients are able to lessen or completely stop their medications over time and achieve a healthier quality of life.
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From Our Blogs
High Blood Pressure: A Natural Approach The use of alternative therapies like herbs and dietary supplements is very common among hypertensive and diabetic patients all over the globe.Blood Pressure Medication: A False Sense of Health In this article the doctors of the Magaziner Center for Wellness discuss blood pressure and cholesterol medications and the false sense of health they give to patients. Blood Pressure and Atrial FibrillationTA new study is out which links “Normal Blood Pressure” to atrial fibrillation later in life. The following are excerpts from the American Heart Association press release January 17, 2012. Middle-aged men at the upper end of normal blood pressure had an elevated risk for atrial fibrillation later in life, according to new research in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.