Natural Treatment for High Blood Pressure in Tuscaloosa, AL
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition that affects more than 85 million Americans—that's 1 in 3 adults over the age of 20. It is defined as systolic blood pressure greater than 140 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure greater than 90 mg Hg. Hypertension is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it does not produce any obvious symptoms but, if left untreated, can lead to heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.
Luckily, a hypertension diagnosis is not a life sentence of prescription medication usage; there are natural ways to lower high blood pressure that you can adopt into your lifestyle. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare practitioner in Tuscaloosa who specializes in natural treatment for high blood pressure, call (334) 781-7319 or contact Dr. Ryan McWhorter online.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is caused by factors that increase blood vessel constriction and affect fluid volume. Genetic predisposition can play a role in this condition; however, dietary, lifestyle, psychological, and environmental factors contribute to the majority of high blood pressure cases. These factors include:
- Obesity or being overweight
- Diet—particularly a diet that is high in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat, while low in fiber, good fat, and critical nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C
- Excessive caffeine or alcohol intake
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Exposure to heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, or arsenic
Traditional High Blood Pressure Treatment
Conventional treatment of high blood pressure includes the use of one or more medications—such as thiazide diuretics, beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers, and calcium-channel blockers—in combination with certain lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise
While medication can lower blood pressure, it may cause side effects, such as leg cramps, dizziness, and insomnia. Medications also do not address the specific underlying causes that drive this condition, such as unhealthy dietary and lifestyle factors and nutrient deficiencies.
Natural High Blood Pressure Treatment
Natural high blood pressure treatment focuses on restoring healthy blood pressure levels through diet, lifestyle modifications, and relaxation therapies, avoiding the use of medication whenever possible. In cases of severe high blood pressure, these natural treatments are used alongside blood pressure medication.
Obesity is a major risk factor for hypertension. Achieving an ideal body weight can result in a significant reduction in high blood pressure and alleviate the strain on your heart that can occur with being overweight.
Another important aspect of your lifestyle that you must consider is your activity level and exercise habits. According to the American Heart Association, in order to lower blood pressure, a minimum of 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise at least 3-4 days per week is recommended. Physical activity should include flexibility and stretching exercises. Strength training should also be incorporated into your weekly regimen, at least 2 days per week.
Additional lifestyle recommendations include:
- Limiting or eliminating alcohol intake
- Limiting caffeine intake
- Reducing stress levels through yoga, meditation, or relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises
- Smoking cessation
High Blood Pressure Diet
To lower high blood pressure naturally, you must adopt healthier dietary habits. Natural foods for high blood pressure are typically plant-based and contain potassium, complex carbohydrates, beneficial oils, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. These foods are low in sodium and are not prepackaged or processed.
Specific diets to help reduce high blood pressure include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet.
The DASH diet was developed based on research sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to lower blood pressure without medication. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, dietary fiber, and whole grains. Results from clinical studies funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found that a combination of the DASH diet, along with reducing sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg per day, quickly and effectively lowered blood pressure.
The Mediterranean diet has also been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure. The diet emphasizes the following dietary and lifestyle recommendations:
- Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts
- Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil
- Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
- Limiting red meat to no more than a few times per month
- Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
- Enjoying meals with family and friends
- Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
- Getting plenty of exercise
Natural Supplements for High Blood Pressure
When combined with the proper lifestyle and dietary modifications, the following nutritional supplements have been shown to support healthy blood pressure levels:
- Vitamin C
- Folic acid and vitamin B6
- Omega-3 fish oil
- Bonito peptide
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- The botanical extracts hawthorn berry, olive leaf, and hibiscus
It is important to only begin taking a dietary supplement under the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Certain supplements, such as potassium-containing vitamins, can create issues if you are taking certain blood pressure medications.
Achieve Healthy Blood Pressure
There are many natural solutions for high blood pressure available to you. A comprehensive program that utilizes lifestyle and dietary modifications alongside a targeted supplemental strategy can help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels and significantly reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease or stroke.
Meet with a healthcare provider in Tuscaloosa who can help you to reduce high blood pressure naturally. Call (334) 781-7319 or contact Dr. Ryan McWhorter online.
Alabama Functional Medicine
Address7040 Sydney Curve
Montgomery, AL 36117
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