High blood pressure (also commonly known as Hypertension) is often called the “silent killer”, as many people can live for years with this dangerous condition without ever experiencing a single symptom. High blood pressure is estimated to affect 1 in 3 American adults. Once the condition arises, it is usually a life-long problem that needs to be treated and managed carefully.
Blood pressure is defined as the force that the blood exerts on the veins and arteries as it circulates through the body. In a healthy individual, blood pressure should be around 120/80 mmHg, although this reading does fluctuate from day to day and person to person. Blood pressure that consistently measures 140/90 mmHg or higher is thus considered high blood pressure. If left uncontrolled, it may increase your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack, kidney failure or stroke.
Two types of high blood pressure have been identified:
* Primary high blood pressure, in which no underlying cause is known
* Secondary blood pressure, which occurs as a result of another medical condition, or caused by certain medications.
For most people, the cause remains unknown, making primary blood pressure the more prevalent of the two.
While it is not entirely known why primary high blood pressure occurs, research is ongoing and a number of factors have been implicated. Since high blood pressure often runs in families, a strong genetic component has been indicated.
Other risk factors for high blood pressure include smoking, alcoholism, and high salt intake, being overweight, lack of exercise, and high levels of stress.
Some conditions known to cause secondary hypertension are:
* Diabetic nephropathy
* Kidney disease
* Cushing's syndrome
* Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism
* Arteriosclerosis (a thickening, hardening and narrowing of the walls of the arteries)
* Underlying heart conditions
* Sleep apnea
* Pregnancy, especially in cases of Pre-eclampsia
* Side-effects of certain medications or supplements
While high blood pressure can be a potentially life-threatening condition, it can be successfully managed through the correct medical treatment and positive life-style changes. Treatment often includes prescription medication, natural remedies, or a combination of both.
Whatever you decide, it is important to adopt a holistic approach to your health and include life-style changes into your treatment program.
There are a number of herbal and homeopathic remedies that are well known for their ability to control high blood pressure with great success. Unlike conventional medicines, which do not always address the root cause, natural remedies can do this without the risk of side effects or addiction.
In keeping with a holistic approach to health, Naturopaths recognize that high blood pressure may be a sign or symptom of imbalance in the body and thus recommend a combination of lifestyle changes and natural remedies to remove the causes of the high blood pressure, rather than simply just treating the symptoms.