There’s a good chance that you or someone you know is affected by hypertension, otherwise known as High Blood Pressure. It’s incredibly common and if you don’t treat it, your chances of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke go up significantly. It may not seem like a major issue but as many as 1000 people die every day because of hypertension-related illness.
When your blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mmHg, you get an official diagnosis of hypertension, and it can be scary. Not knowing what causes it or what to do about it can be intimidating so we’re here to help!
Here’s what we know about high blood pressure
Surprisingly, up to 95% of patients just have high blood pressure — we don’t know for sure what causes it. We call this primary or essential hypertension, and it’s very common. A lot of lifestyle factors are often overlooked, and getting a deeper understanding can help get your blood pressure under control.
Your blood pressure is like a window into your cardiovascular health. Healthy blood vessels are highly elastic, and as we get older, they get less stretchy. When you have buildup in your arteries, this happens earlier than it normally would. This means your heart has to work harder to pump blood, and when you heart works harder, your risk of heart attack and stroke goes up.
Up to 1 in 3 adults have hypertension, so you’re definitely not alone. Women and men seem to have it at about equal rates, and being overweight or obese is one of the biggest risk factors. Only about half of people who have hypertension have their blood pressure under control through medication or natural interventions.
How can you get your blood pressure under control?
Western medical doctors use blood-pressure lowering medications like beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors. These medications come with side effects: some people get dry coughs, leg cramps, or experience erectile dysfunction. Sometimes medications are appropriate, however, natural interventions can be just as effective and don’t come with the same side effects.
Naturopathic doctors are great at treating hypertension. Whether or not you take medications, we work with you to help lower your blood pressure and keep it low. We might use nutritional supplements, herbs or we can use acupuncture- both methods have been shown to be effective for treating hypertension. Most importantly, we look at your lifestyle and guide you in making the right choices for your high blood pressure. The biggest factors are adjusting your diet and exercise levels to help you lose weight, helping you to reduce stress levels in your life, and helping you quit smoking. We work with you, to come up with a treatment plan that works for you.
How long does it take to treat hypertension?
Because naturopathic doctors treat the root cause of illness, the time until you see results depends on each individual case. Some natural interventions are very effective and work very quickly so you could see results as early as a few days. Other interventions, like weight loss, take longer, and we work with you every step of the way to make sure you have the support you need to achieve your health goals safely and effectively.
Recent diagnosis or long-term condition, naturopathic medicine can help get your blood pressure under control, call and book an appointment now!