I was hanging out with a few friends and some family members last weekend. We always have a good time. Now we are all around 55-65 now. Naturally when you become this age range medical issue become a major topic for discussion
What Is Hypertension?
My brother who is only 55 years old and fairly fit started out with a joke about his recent doctor’s visit. He said his pressure was a higher than usual. Doctor told him how dangerous this was and he is cheeseburger away from having a Stroke!
Imagine telling this story in a room that has a few Stroke victims (Myself Included) present. So we laughed but when the chuckles subsided serious chatter began.
What meds are you taking? Do you think diet and exercise helps? What were your symptoms before you had your Stroke? When it was all said and done we realized something. Most of us didn’t really know what High Blood Pressure or Hypertension was!
Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure (HBP), is a long term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. Simply put high pressure happens in the arteries (vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body) becomes elevated. It is very dangerous because high blood pressure usually does not cause symptoms. That is why it is called the ‘Silent Killer!’
What Causes Hypertension?
Did you know High Blood Pressure is more common than we think. Statistics reveal that there are more than 85 million people with hypertension in the United States.
Diagnosis often requires lab test or imaging. My weekend was filled with this number one question. What causes this lifelong condition? Some of us were physically fit. Many of us were on strict diets like myself. We were all on medications.
We quickly took out our phones to find out the answer. Answer? There are no exact cause for hypertension!
Incredible isn’t it?
Symptoms of HBP
You know what happens when you are in a crowd and you find out we have something in common.
That’s when you start comparing symptoms and other conditions.
I remember when I was a teenager and got acne. Finding someone that had my same shame was my mission. I was shattered when the one student with acne refused to talk about her skin.
I digress, back to our symptoms. Personally, get a headache when my pressure is elevated. I blamed it on everything else for years. Now it is my cue to check my pressure and take my med. My brother, who also had a stroke over 15 years ago, said he had a nosebleed night before he had a stroke.
So yes, there could be no symptoms at all in some people. However, the common symptoms when present can include severe headache, shortness of breath, severe anxiety, nose bleeding and a feeling of pulsations in the neck or head.
Natural Treatment for Hypertention
While high blood pressure can also be caused by genetic factors, most cases are related to excessive salt, obesity, smoking and regular consumption of alcohol. High blood pressure is best treated as early as possible, once identified. Failure to treat hypertension may increase the risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss as well as chronic kidney disease
Ginger is one of the most powerful roots to help remedy many ailments of the body, high blood pressure is no exception. Ginger can help relax the muscles surrounding the blood vessels, leading to a greater flow of blood through the body. With improved circulation, the pressure placed on the heart is eased and the symptoms of hypertension become less pronounced.
Coconut Water is my go to drink for hypertension. It is incredibly refreshing and great for your heart. Containing potassium and magnesium, sipping on coconut water will improve muscle function which will not only help the heart do its job but will also ease the tension surrounding blood vessels throughout the body.
Garlic is known to be a remedy for many ailments and is particularly good for the heart. With a wealth of beneficial components, garlic can help lower blood pressure. Garlic can be easily added to just about any savory meal, meaning dinnertime is the perfect opportunity to give your heart a helping hand.
French Lavender is known as a relaxing scent and great for perfume but did you know it also helps lower blood pressure. Many people prefer to use it in essential oil form or even crushed up in a small pouch to inhale throughout the day. This is particularly useful before bed or even during the day at times of stress when those horrible tension headaches come on. If you have lavender plants at home, this makes a great renewable remedy to help you relax and keep blood pressure low.
Flaxseed if you are looking for a way to increase the levels of omega-3 fatty acids and want to avoid certain seafoods, flaxseed makes for easily consumed ingredient. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure significantly and flaxseed holds high levels of it. Flaxseed also helps protect against atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease with its antioxidant properties, helping reduce serum cholesterol. I put it on my oatmeal, yogurt and in my smoothies.
Basil has also been known to temporarily lower blood pressure, which means maintaining a diet heavy on the herb can help keep many of the symptoms at bay as well as adding that great taste to many of your dishes at home.
Watermelon is not only one of the most hydrating fruits in nature, it also widens blood vessels, lower vascular resistance. Watermelon contains citrulline, an organic compound that is converted to an amino acid and precursor to nitric oxide known as L-arginine. This then helps the cells in the body function with efficiency, basically lowering blood pressure in the body to more sustainable levels once blood vessels are widened.
Fish oil has been known to be a wonder supplement. Who knew it provides balance for just about everything in the body from cognition, digestion and of course lowering blood pressure. Fish oil also helps reduce the risk of heart disease. Most people take fish oil in tablet form, however even consuming more tuna or salmon can increase the levels of omega-3 in the body.
Hawthorne used since ancient times in traditional Chinese medicine, the herb hawthorn is a wonder remedy for all things heart related. Taken as a tea, pill or even just a liquid extract, the herb has been known to reduce blood pressure as well as prevent blood clots forming and improving circulation throughout the body.
Believe it or not but these are just a few natural remedies for high blood pressure.
Doctors recommend that patients with hypertension engage in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity, dynamic, aerobic exercise. This can include walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming on 5 to 7 days of the week. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for getting hypertension.
Avoiding stress is another strategy that can help with blood pressure control. Using alcohol, drugs, smoking, and unhealthy eating to cope with stress will add to hypertensive problems. These should be avoided as well.
Smoking can raise blood pressure. Giving up smoking reduces the risk of hypertension, heart conditions, and other health issues.
Life is too short and we humans should be more appreciative of our good health. Life is hard for most of us but we can learn how not to make it harder.