Question: My doctor has just diagnosed me with Hypertension and I am daunted by the prospect of taking medication for the next 20 years or so. I’ve heard that high blood pressure can be controlled by more natural means than medication, do you have any suggestions about what I could do and also what may have caused it?
17 September, 2008 – 13:43
Answer: Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. Blood pressure rises and falls during the day. When blood pressure stays elevated over time, it is called high blood pressure.
Around 10 million people in the UK have high blood pressure – that’s one in five of us.
The cause is unknown in 90% of cases although many factors are associated with the problem including genetics, age, race, stress, obesity, smoking, a high-salt diet, excessive consumption of alcohol and a sedentary lifestyle.
High blood pressure can go undiagnosed for many years as it has no noticeable symptoms. That’s why regular blood pressure checks are so important. It is only when high blood pressure becomes severe that symptoms appear, these can include nosebleeds, racing or irregular heartbeat, headaches, and dizziness.
It is a mistake made by many to conclude you don’t have high blood pressure because you don’t have any symptoms. Keeping your blood pressure under control is tremendously important to your overall health.
So, what should you be doing? Firstly every adult near or past middle age should ‘know their numbers’- i.e. your height, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Cutting down on alcohol and high fat foods along with giving up smoking and regular exercise all help to lower blood pressure or stop you developing the condition in the first place.
A supplement you may wish to try would be co-enzyme Q10. New research has shown that this natural enzyme which is found in all living cells in animals and plants lowers blood pressure without the side effects seen with conventional anti-hypertensive drugs.
If you are at all worried about your hypertension you should always talk to you doctor first!!