Natural Remedies for Lowering High Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association estimates that one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure. Of the people living with this condition, approximately one-third don’t realize they have it. This condition is often referred to as the “Silent Killer,” since an individual can have hypertension without having symptoms or even realizing that he or she has it.

The causes of this condition are varied. A treatment plan for high blood pressure may include lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise. The doctor may also recommend medications to bring the blood pressure down to a more normal level.

High blood pressure is a serious health concern that needs to be treated appropriately. Untreated high blood pressure can lead to a number of conditions, including heart attack and stroke.

Garlic to Treat High Blood Pressure

Using a garlic supplement may be an effective way to lower high blood pressure. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a doctor, though; garlic has similar blood-thinning properties to Aspirin.

For this reason, people who are already taking blood-thinning medications should not be using garlic supplements. Individuals who are taking Aspirin on a daily basis or using Vitamin E or gingko biloba should not be using garlic supplements, either, since doing so can exacerbate the blood-thinning properties of these supplements.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is usually associated with women of childbearing years. It can help to prevent spinal birth defects. It’s also necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Taking folic acid may help to lower blood pressure in some patients.

Calcium and Potassium

A patient with high blood pressure should make sure that he or she is getting enough calcium. Doing so may play a role in reducing high blood pressure.

Potassium is a mineral can also help to lower blood pressure in some patients. Good dietary sources of potassium include the following:

  • apricots
  • bananas
  • beans
  • beef
  • dates
  • fish (cod, salmon)
  • mushrooms
  • prunes
  • raisins
  • soy products
  • spinach
  • strawberries
  • turkey
  • veggie burgers
  • watermelon

Magnesium

Magnesium helps to keep the heart beating at a steady pace. It is sometimes administered through an IV to patients who are experiencing cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Magnesium may also be given to congestive heart failure patients, since they are at an increased risk for arrhythmia.

It can also help to regulate blood pressure for some patients. A doctor can advise whether magnesium, administered orally or by IV, is the right treatment in specific cases.

Before trying natural remedies for lowering blood pressure, consult a physician. There are a number of elements that can be part of an effective treatment plan for high blood pressure.

5 Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure Without Medication

If you have been diagnosed with unhealthy high blood pressure, your doctor can prescribe medication to treat the condition. This is not the only treatment, though, and by making some lifestyle changes, you can bring your BP down to a more normal level.

1. Get Some Exercise

Walking is a wonderful way to stay fit. Not only is it easy, but it’s inexpensive. A sturdy pair of shoes is all you need. The exercise gets your heart rate elevated and helps the heart use oxygen more effectively. As a result, it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep blood pumping through the body and blood pressure is lowered.

2. Try Some Deep Breathing

Take a few minutes at the beginning and end of your day to stop and breathe deeply. Meditation and yoga can help you slow down and refocus. Stress encourages shallow breathing, and filling up your lungs fully and then letting the breath out is very relaxing. Try picturing your tension leaving your body as you breathe out to lower your blood pressure.

3. Drink Alcohol, in Moderation

Moderate drinking can help to lower blood pressure, but be careful not to drink to excess. For women, moderate drinking is considered no more than one alcoholic beverage per day. Men can have two drinks daily to be considered in this category. A “drink” is 1.5 ounces of spirits, a 5 ounce glass of wine or a 12 ounce glass of beer.

4. Lower Your Caffeine Intake

You may enjoy your morning cup of java, but it can affect your blood pressure if you are drinking more than three cups per day. Chocolate and soft drinks can also contain caffeine, and you may need to cut back on them as well to keep your consumption in check.lowering Blood Pressure photo

5. Limit Your Overtime at Work

Putting in extra hours at the office can increase your blood pressure. Not only can the office be a pressure cooker for stress, but spending extra time on the job may mean you are not getting the amount of sleep you need to feel refreshed. Overtime work also makes it more challenging to eat healthy meals, which also plays a role in keeping your blood pressure at a normal level.

Before you try lowering your blood pressure naturally, discuss your plans with your doctor. These strategies should be part of an overall treatment plan to improve your health.

High Blood Pressure and Children

High blood pressure doesn’t just affect adults. Children and teens can also be diagnosed with this condition, and it needs to be treated promptly.

Causes of High Blood Pressure in Children

A child who has been diagnosed with kidney or heart disease may develop high blood pressure. Once the underlying cause has been treated effectively, the young person’s blood pressure will probably return to normal. Some medications can also cause high blood pressure; if this is the cause of the problem, changing or discontinuing the medication should help to bring the level down to the normal range.

In some cases, the underlying cause of high blood pressure in children is harder to detect. Children who come from families with a history of high blood pressure may be at risk. Being overweight or obese can also put a child at increased risk.

Treatment for High Blood Pressure in Children

Once high blood pressure has been diagnosed, the treatment options are similar to those used in adults. A change in the child’s eating habits so that they are following a heart-healthy diet will help to bring the blood pressure reading down. Increasing the child’s level of physical activity is another strategy that can bring down blood pressure to a healthier level.


Obesity and High Blood Pressure in Teens

When a teenager is obese and has high blood pressure, he or she may be at risk for having thicker arteries by the age of 30. When fat builds up in the walls of the arteries, it puts the individual at a higher level of risk for heart disease and stroke.

A parent who is concerned about high blood pressure in children should discuss the issue with the family doctor or pediatrician. The doctor can suggest a treatment plan to get the blood pressure down to a healthier level.

Low Blood Pressure Risky for Coronary Artery Disease Patients

Lowering Blood PressureHigh blood pressure has been identified as one of the risk factors for heart disease, and you may be thinking that getting the reading down as low as possible is a good strategy for staying healthy. The results of a new study had some surprising results: People who have coronary artery disease and diabetes may benefit from having a blood pressure reading that is slightly higher than what is considered healthy for the general population who does not live with either one of these health issues.

Researchers followed 6,400 participants in the study for six years. The patients had coronary artery disease and diabetes and achieved a systolic blood pressure reading (the top number) of 115 or less were actually at an increased level of risk for heart attack and stroke. A healthier systolic reading for people in this group was somewhere between 130 and 140. A “normal” blood pressure reading is considered 120/80, or less.

The systolic pressure measured in a blood pressure reading is an indication of the amount of pressure on the arteries when the heart beats and is pushing blood out through the body. The diastolic pressure, or the bottom number in a blood pressure reading, indicates the pressure when the heart is resting in between beats. During this time, the heart is filling up with blood before pumping again.

Patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes and/or coronary artery disease should discuss their health, including their blood pressure reading, with their doctor. If high blood pressure is an issue, the doctor can recommend a plan to bring the readings down to a more healthy level.

DASH Diet Can Help to Improve Brain Function

People who follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet reap the benefits of improved cardiovascular health, and the results of a new study conducted by researchers at Duke University indicate that it may help to improve brain functioning, too.

The study, the results of which were published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, followed a total of 124 people. The men and women who participated all had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The average age was 52 years old, and most of the group were at least 15 pounds overweight.

Participants were divided into three groups. One of the groups were instructed to follow the DASH diet. This eating plan includes fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Carbohydrates make up a large portion of the daily calories, and high-cholesterol foods are avoided.

The second group of participants in the study followed the DASH diet in conjunction with a program of regular aerobic exercise. They worked out three times a week for 30 minutes at a time, and the sessions were supervised by research staff. The third group in the study didn’t follow any particular diet or exercise routine.

Cognitive Ability Test Results

To measure how diet and exercise can affect a person’s mental functioning, the participants in the study were asked to perform certain tasks using a paper and pencil.


When the four-month study concluded, test results showed the participants who were in the group following the DASH diet in combination with aerobic exercise had an average increase in brain function of 30 percent.

The participants who followed the DASH diet in combination with exercise lost an average of 19 pounds during the four months they were involved in the study. Their systolic blood pressure (the top number of the blood pressure reading) was lowered by an average of 16 points, while the diastolic pressure (the bottom number on the reading) went down by an average of 10 points.

Canadians at Risk for “Perfect Storm” of Heart Health Concerns

Young people are at a higher risk of developing heart disease than previous generations, according to a report that was released on Monday. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadians are putting their health at risk by being overweight, not getting enough exercise and not eating enough fruits and vegetables. High blood pressure is affecting people at younger ages than in previous generations, too: a whopping 250,000 people in their 20s and 30s have high blood pressure.

Dr. Ross Feldman, a researcher at the Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario stated that, “In terms of high blood pressure, 20 is the new 40 or even the new 50.” Dr. Feldman, a hypertension expert who runs a high blood pressure clinic, also stated that 25 percent of the patients he sees are under the age of 30.

Would you like to avoid becoming a statistic like these? Doctors can only do so much to help when a patient develops high blood pressure. A better choice than getting treatment for high blood pressure once it develops is to take the “ounce of prevention” approach and start taking responsibility for your own health.

Get a Checkup

Start by getting a complete physical checkup, if you haven’t been seen by your doctor for a while. Be sure to ask whether there are any reasons why you shouldn’t exercise. If you get the go-ahead to be more physically active, ask your doctor for suggestions about the best type of exercise for you.

Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker and you want to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, it’s time to think about your options for quitting. Your doctor or pharmacist can make some suggestions about using a nicotine patch or gum, or give you some advice about whether taking a medication like Chantix is right for you.

Change Your Eating Habits

You have control over what you decide to eat, so why wait to change your eating habits for the better? Make a point of eating fruits and vegetables more often; even a simple thing like substituting a salad for fries with a meal can make a difference in your overall health. If you do decide to eat salads more often, watch how much dressing you add. Going overboard with a creamy dressing can undo the good you are trying to achieve by eating these foods in the first place.

High Blood Pressure Linked to Dementia

The Journal of Clinical Hypertension has reported the results of another study indicating that high blood pressure and dementia are related. Dementia is a medical condition that causes a gradual decline in an individual’s social skills and intellectual abilities, and unfortunately the effects are irreversible.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia, and it affects approximately 5 percent of people over the age of 65. Vascular dementia is another form of this condition and is caused by stroke. For some seniors, the cause of their dementia is a combination of Alzheimer’s Disease and having experienced more than one stroke.

Risk Factors for Dementia

Like many other medical conditions, family history is one thing that determines an individual’s likelihood of developing dementia. Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking

The results from the new study of the relationship between hypertension and dementia indicate that controlling blood pressure in young people and middle-aged adults may help to prevent dementia. They are another reason why going for a checkup on a regular basis, including having a blood pressure test performed, makes good sense.

High blood pressure is known as “The Silent Killer” for a reason. Unless they take the few minutes to have a blood pressure reading done, a person will not know they have this condition. Given the fact that prolonged high blood pressure can lead to a number of health concerns, it makes sense to get it checked.BloodPressure

If it’s been awhile since you have been to see your doctor, why don’t you book an appointment for a checkup? If you think you don’t have time to do so, think again. High blood pressure can be treated with lifestyle changes and medication. Dementia doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of getting older, and looking after your health can help to prevent it. Isn’t that worth the time it takes to see a doctor?

Good Heart Habits for Children and Teens Reduce Risk in Adulthood

The good news about adolescent heart disease is that it’s not a major cause of death for younger people. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for adults in North America, though. According to the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, someone dies every 37 seconds due to cardiovascular disease.

High Blood Pressure in Children

High blood pressure is a relatively rare occurrence in children. Approximately three percent of kids have this medical condition, which can be serious if it goes untreated. Part of a child’s annual checkup should include a blood pressure check.

A family history of high blood pressure means that a child’s blood pressure should be monitored carefully. high blood pressure riskHigh blood pressure in children may result from another medical condition, such as kidney disease.

Help Children Make Good Lifestyle Choices

Parents can have a big influence on their children’s health choices by making good ones themselves. Children watch what their parents do, and this can have a greater impact than what they say. Parents can help their children get off to a good start by doing the following:

  • Drinking alcohol only in moderation.
  • Quitting smoking (or not taking up the habit in the first place).
  • Eating a balanced diet that includes whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables.
  • Getting regular exercise

A child to learns these good health habits early is more likely to continue to observe them in adulthood. Some of the risk factors for heart disease are not things that an individual can control, while adopting good health habits will lower the risk of of heart disease for adolescents and adults alike.

High Blood Pressure and Hair Loss Related?

The results from several studies are in, and they point to a relationship between male baldness and hypertension. Men who start to lose their hair at an early age appear to be at increased risk.

A group of 250 Caucasian men between the ages of 35-65 participated in a study in 2007. The subjects were rated for factors such as whether they smoked, history of high blood pressure and if they had diabetes. Each person’s baldness pattern was also noted. A strong connection was found between men with hypertension and those who were experiencing hair loss.

Starting to get a bit thin on top could be considered  a type of early warning system for high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. Middle-aged men should be taking their health seriously by getting regular physical checkups and having blood pressure checks done.

Since having a blood pressure reading that is consistently above what is considered normal (120/80) means a person is at increased risk for heart disease, the doctor can suggest measures to treat this condition. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help bring down the blood pressure. In others, blood pressure can be brought under control by making some lifestyle changes.

Making a point of getting regular exercise helps to improve overall fitness and bring blood pressure down to a healthier level. It’s also a natural stress buster. A person who stays physically active is better able to develop and maintain a positive outlook than someone who doesn’t take time out for exercise.

The doctor may also recommend changes to a high blood pressure patient’s diet. Controlling sodium intake is one strategy that may help. Making a point of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats will also help to improve overall health.


Fine Particle Air Pollution Increases Risk of Heart Disease

You already know that your daily commute isn’t the most pleasant part of your day, but it can be harmful to your health as well. The results of a study conducted by the University of Michigan Health System show that being exposed to air pollution for a couple of hours causes blood pressure to increase.

When a person is exposed to air pollution, the diastolic blood pressure (the low number on the BP reading) increases dramatically. The results of the study were published in Hypertension, which is published by the American Heart Association.

The increase in systolic blood pressure may not affect a healthy person, but that’s not the case if you happen to be one of the 30 percent of people in North America who live with hypertension. Keep an eye on air pollution levels in your area and avoid going outside when numbers are up, if possible.