Posted on August 18, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

High blood pressure or hypertension affects one out of every three Americans and is the most common of all medical diagnosis. Diabetes follows close behind as the number two medical diagnosis in America. Hypertension is the single most important risk factor for stroke, peripheral vascular disease, congestive heart failure and heart attack. Hypertension is not only a disease it is also a business. The total U.S. healthcare cost for just hypertension is in excess of $185 billion per year or 12.6% of all healthcare expenditures.

The steps to be taken when taking a blood pressure reading for determining a hypertension diagnosis include the patient being seated peacefully for 5 minutes, use of a blood pressure cuff appropriate for the arm size, and having the arm positioned at heart height. A single reading of 140/90 is a sign of hypertension however this needs to be achieved on two subsequent occasions to confirm a diagnosis of hypertension. Any single reading of 160/100 or greater confirms a hypertension diagnosis with one reading alone.

High blood pressure is not a condition unto itself but rather is always a sign of some underlying dysfunction or disease. Therefore treatment should focus on finding the underlying cause as hypertension is an indicator that something is wrong or out of balance physiologically. Corrective intervention is required beyond the prescribing of blood pressure lowering medications. Every attempt must be made to determine the cause of the hypertensive state. A few of the causative possibilities are a Vitamin D deficiency, sleep apnea, tobacco use, licorice consumption, insulin resistance, and cocaine use. Some pharmaceutical drugs can cause an elevation in blood pressure and this should be understood by the prescribing physician.

Excess alcohol consumption can elevate blood pressure. This can make the cause difficult to recognize when the individual fails to indicate the amount and the duration of their alcohol consumption. This only emphasizes why a complete physical examination, a thorough history taking and appropriate blood serum lab tests must be performed by healthcare practitioners in a best effort attempt at determining the underlying cause of the hypertension. Your healthcare providers must search out all possibilities with you.

Not all hypertension is disease based. Emotions can play a strategic role in elevating blood pressure. Some individuals will have normal blood pressure at home and elevated blood pressure readings at their doctor’s office. This is generally known as “White Coat Hypertension”. This is explained as an exaggerated stress response to an innocuous stimulus. Unfortunately this has parallels in other areas of the individual’s life and studies indicate that people with “White Coat Hypertension” show an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. This is one instance when lifestyle adjustments can have a dramatic effect on lowering blood pressure.

For true primary hypertension there are many safe and effective holistic and nutritional interventions that can be utilized. If you suffer from hypertension you should contact your naturopath for guidance with a protocol designed at lowering it in a natural way.

When an integrative approach is used for lowering blood pressure the physician prescribing any pharmaceuticals should be aware that you are also seeking assistance with a natural approach involving lifestyle changes and supplemental nutrients. If you are already taking antihypertensive medications you will likely require downward dosage adjustments after altering your diet, lifestyle and commencing the addition of the nutritional supplements.

Jim Harris is a Naturopath and Nutritional Consultant with a virtual practice called the Art of Wellness Center. You can contact Jim or visit his web site.
web site: http://www.theartofwellnesscenter.com
email: theartofwellness@earthlink.net
telephone: 760-778-5600

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