Living with high blood pressure (hypertension) can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you have just recently been diagnosed with the condition. Even though there are medications available to help you manage this condition, many people find that dealing with it naturally enables them to live a happier life and in some cases medication-free.
1. Know the Risk Factors
The exact cause of high blood pressure is not known. And the condition doesn’t always present any identifying symptoms. In fact, many people are unaware that they have the condition until they happen to have their blood pressure checked and discover that it’s abnormally high. The following risk factors does increase one’s chances of developing the condition.
Lack of Physical Activity
High Salt Intake
Underlying Medical Conditions
Some people who don’t exhibit any of these characteristics, do go on to develop high blood pressure as the result of an underlying medical condition. This is known as secondary hypertension. Secondary high blood pressure appears more suddenly than regular or primary high blood pressure and can be more severe. But it also can be managed naturally.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Shedding any excess weight you have can make it easier for your body to regulate its blood pressure without the use of medications. The more you weigh increases the amount of pressure and force that is needed to pump blood throughout your body. The arteries become harder and narrower which forces your body to use more adrenalin to move blood through, leading to increased salt retention and high blood pressure. A lower body weight reduces the amount of stress and work your body has to perform, resulting in a lower blood pressure.
3. Lower Salt Intake
Consuming high amounts of salt on a regular basis increases the amount of water the cells in your body need to function properly. This can also lead to excess thirst since it also increases the amount of water retained inside and circulating throughout the body. This, in turn, increases the amount of pressure that is exerted on the walls of your blood vessels and increases your blood pressure. Consume less salt on a daily basis and you can alleviate the stress and pressure that builds up inside of your blood vessels, making it easier for your heart to pump blood where it needs to go.
4. Get Active
Physical activity raises your blood pressure for a short amount of time. It can also help your body to establish a normal baseline that can regulate and keep your blood pressure lower in the future. When starting a new exercise regimen, it is not necessary to start off participating in marathons and cross country competitions just to see the results. People with high blood pressure should start off slow and work their way up to a normal activity level. Of course, to prevent any complications it is highly recommended that you consult with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise regimen.
5. Quit Smoking
Every time you smoke a cigarette, you significantly increase your blood pressure. Even being exposed to second-hand smoke can negatively impact your blood pressure. The effects of smoking on blood sugar are long lasting. Although some people feel smoking is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, its adverse effects on the body suggest otherwise. It can increase the amount of stress that is put on the body and lead to the development of other health conditions that can also affect your blood pressure.
6. Avoid Stress
Although stress has yet to be linked to chronic hypertension, it can affect your blood pressure temporarily. Stress increases the amount of emotional and physical strain on the body and causes your body to respond in ways that are unhealthy. It can also increase your chances of developing certain health conditions, such as heart disease and chronic kidney disease that can lead to the development of secondary hypertension in the future.
7. Eliminate or Limit Alcohol Consumption
Consuming more than three alcoholic drinks in one sitting every once in a while can significantly raise your blood pressure temporarily. Drinking three or more alcoholic beverages in one sitting on a long-term basis can lead to chronic high blood pressure. It is recommended for binge drinkers to gradually reduce their consumption of alcoholic beverages over a period of two weeks, or they risk a sudden onset of high blood pressure. People who normally suffer from high blood pressure are advised to limit or avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages altogether to regulate their blood pressure and prevent adverse reactions to high blood pressure medications.
8. Take Supplements
Sometimes when the body lacks certain vitamins and minerals, it can cause your blood pressure to go up. By maintaining a healthy diet that includes the use of natural supplements, it is possible to lower your blood pressure naturally and quite possibly avoid the use of medication in the future. Supplements, such as vitamin D and coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) help to promote healthy blood pressure by reducing the amount of blood pressure increasing hormones that are produced by the body. These supplements also help to reduce the effects of high blood pressure on the cardiac muscle.
Other beneficial blood pressure supplements include:
Olive Leaf - Oleuropein, a compound found in high concentration in the olive leaf, has been shown to favorably modulate high blood pressure’s core mechanism: arterial resistance or stiffness. Studies have shown that Olive Leaf has similar effects as ACE inhibitors.
Celery Seed Extract - Celery Seed extract has potent calcium channel blocking properties, that allows the body to better control the movement of calcium in and out of blood vessels. Combining Olive Leaf and Celery Seed Extract clinical studies have demonstrated that together both extracts are able to safely lower blood pressure.
Calcium - Calcium helps blood vessels contract and expand, along with assisting the body's nervous system in communicating with cells. If the calcium in your body is too low it will take calcium from your bones to achieve these tasks.
Magnesium - Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and is responsible for the function of over 350 enzymes in your body, including the relaxation of blood vessels, dissolving blood clots, dramatically lessen the site of injury and arrhythmia, and act as an antioxidant against the free radicals forming at the site of injury. Doctors have been prescribing magnesium for heart disease since the 1930s.
Prior to using any natural supplements, consult your doctor first.
Some people who suffer from high blood pressure will need to rely on medication. However, it is possible for you to regain control over your condition by making some lifestyle and dietary changes that include the use of natural supplements.