Hypertension is more commonly known as high blood pressure.
Hypertension is diagnosed when the average systolic blood
pressure (the first number) is over 140, or the diastolic blood
pressure (the second number) is over 90. Hypertension is a
concern because it increases the risk of heart attack and
stroke, two of the three leading causes of death among
Americans. Hypertension affects 25% of all American adults, and
50% of American adults over the age of 65.
understand what hypertension does, it helps to understand what
‘blood pressure’ actually measures. Every time your heart beats,
the blood in your veins exerts pressure on the walls of your
blood vessels. Blood pressure measures the force of the blood
pressing against the walls of the arteries. The more pressure
being exerted on the walls, the higher the chance of damaging
them. Damage to the walls of the arteries can result in many
hypertension isn’t treated, it may result in:
Symptoms of Hypertension:
hypertension is often asymptomatic, many people have high blood
pressure without even realizing it. The most common symptom of
hypertension is mild headache, which is easy to attribute to
other causes. Very occasionally, severe hypertension may have
the following symptoms
There are two kinds
of hypertension – essential hypertension and secondary
hypertension. About 95% of all diagnosed cases of hypertension
are essential hypertension. The cause of essential hypertension
is uncertain, but scientists believe that it may be linked to
one or more of the following:
hypertension is high blood pressure caused by a known condition.
These conditions include:
Chronic use of
alcohol (about 10% of all cases of secondary hypertension)
drinking (5 or more cups a day)
Side effects of
some medications including birth control pills,
pseudoephedrine, hormones and steroids
doctors have defined a number of risk factors for high blood
pressure. If you have one or more of these risk factors, you
should have your blood pressure checked often.
Treatments for Hypertension:
Prevention is one of the most effective means of controlling
hypertension. Doctors recommend the following strategies to help
is one of the strongest risk factors associated with
hypertension. Keeping your weight at a healthy level is one of
the best ways to reduce your risk of developing high blood
implicated in heightened risk of developing hypertension. A
low-salt diet may help prevent the condition.
the benefit of helping with weight control, exercise seems to
help lower blood pressure all on its own. Multiple research
studies show that regular aerobic activity helps lower blood
pressure even when not accompanied by weight loss.
and vegetables contain antioxidant vitamins and minerals that
have been proven to lower blood pressure. There are also studies
that show that people with diets that include lots of fruits and
vegetables are less at risk for hypertension.
years, doctors have prescribed drugs to help lower blood
pressure. Recent research, however, suggests that there are diet
and nutritional changes you can make – besides lowering salt
intake – that can lower blood pressure as effectively as
researchers believe that the antioxidants in fruits and
vegetables are helpful in treating hypertension, doctors
recommend increasing your intake of vitamins C, A and E to help
lower high blood pressure.
study (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) recommends
eating a diet rich in antioxidants and low-fat dairy products.
Their research pointed out that the effectiveness of a
high-fruit and vegetable diet was increased when calcium rich
low-fat dairy products were introduced.
small studies suggest that coenzyme Q10 may help lower blood
pressure. In one study, 51% of the participants were able to
completely discontinue using prescription medication to control
hypertension after six months supplementation with CO Q10. CO
Q10 also has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, which are
associated with hypertension.
3 Fatty acid, EPA, found in fatty cold water fish has shown
promise in reducing blood pressure in patients diagnosed with
hypertension. In one study that included 935 participants, omega
3 fish oil supplements not only lowered blood pressure, but had
a significant effect on cholesterol levels.
hypertension has been associated with low levels of nitric acid,
researchers have studied the effects of L-arginine, a precursor
to nitric acid. In one study, L-arginine significantly lowered
the blood pressure of both those who ate a diet enriched with
natural L-arginine and those who were given L-arginine
least two different studies, olive leaf extract has shown the
potential to lower high blood pressure in patients with
hypertension. There is evidence that it relaxes arterial walls,
as well as lowering cholesterol, a main contributor to
Hawthorne berries and leaves are widely used in Europe to treat
hypertension and heart related ailments. They’re on the German
government’s approved herbs list as treatment for hypertension
its many other benefits, ginkgo biloba dilates blood vessels,
relieving hypertension. Studies are preliminary but promising.
Researchers all agree that the best prevention and treatment for
hypertension is lifestyle. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables
coupled with moderate exercise can often lower high blood
pressure without any need for medication. Traditional herbal
treatments are gaining popularity with more and more doctors as
evidence mounts that the phytonutrients in plants have a
profound effect on hypertension, and many doctors now recommend
increasing your intake of omega 3 fatty acids – particularly the
EPA found in fish like salmon and tuna.