Hypertension or high blood pressure is a problem that affects nearly one in three adult Americans today. An even bigger problem is the fact that almost one third of those people are not aware of the problem, because hypertension is a silent disease.
Normal blood pressure in adults is 120/80 mmHg or below. Anything above that is considered to be prehypertension or hypertension of stages 1 and 2.
In the early stages, high blood pressure may not necessarily show any symptoms at all. When they appear, symptoms usually involve dizziness, headache and nosebleeds.
Causes of high blood pressure
There is no one specific factor that causes high blood pressure. This problem is rather a consequence of a combination of causes. Those may include obesity, smoking, lack of physical activity, excessive sodium intake, low potassium intake, stress, alcoholism and age.
People with a family history of hypertension are considered to be more likely to suffer from the same problem.
Hypertension may be caused by another underlying condition, such as kidney disease, hormonal disorders, diseases that affect glands, especially thyroid and adrenal glands.
Natural remedies for hypertension
Lifestyle changes and natural remedies may have positive effect on high blood pressure, but in some cases it is necessary to take prescription medicines as well, because high blood pressure can be dangerous and lead to more severe complications and diseases.
Several studies have shown that coenzyme Q10 taken as a supplement can significantly reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Patients with mild hypertension can benefit from garlic, especially in form of garlic powder supplements. However, before taking this supplement it is recommended to consult a doctor because it is a blood thinner and it is not suitable for people who take drugs like warfarin or Aspirin.
Herb practitioners highly recommend the herb hawthorn for patients who have high blood pressure.
Fish oil is also believed to have some positive effect, especially in milder cases of hypertension.
Folic acid, a B vitamin required for the formation of blood cells, may be beneficial for people with hypertension, possibly because it reduces homocysteine levels.
Changing the diet is essential for fighting high blood pressure. A proper diet for hypertension should be sodium-free or low-sodium, and rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium. It is best to see a nutritionist who will write down a diet suitable for the specific person suffering from hypertension.
Other methods for lowering the high blood pressure include autogenic training, biofeedback, yoga, aerobic and Ayurvedic medicine.
People who suffer from hypertension should avoid licorice, ephedra, Asian ginseng, and rosemary oil.