Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Natural Blood Pressure Regulation

High blood pressure or hypertension effects over 65 million Americans. This is a growing problem and many Americans are relying on medication prescribed by their to control their blood pressure. Some of the most common medications being prescribed right now are Chlorthalidone and Propranolol. Some of the side effects associated with these medications include depression, dry mouth, thirst, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, alteration of heart rate, muscle pain or weakness, and even numbness and tingling. In addition, serious drug interactions can occur if you are taking anti-depressants, heart arrhythmia medications, blood thinners, MAO or ACE inhibitors, steriods, diabetic medications, and many others. Are the risks really worth it?

Are you taking a blood pressure medication right now or have you had your dosage changed in the past 6 months? There's a better way. There are natural methods and lifestyle changes that can help regulate your blood pressure with no associated side effects and you can make these changes today!

1. See a chiropractor.

Treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure with an upper cervical chiropractic adjustment, according to George Bakris, MD of the University of Chicago hypertensive center,  "has the effect of not one, but two blood pressure medications given in combination and it seems to be an adverse-event free treatment. We saw no side effects and no problems." A 2007 study compared the two treatments and found that on average systolic numbers dropped 14 mm and diastolic numbers dropped 8 mm of mercury with upper cervical chiropractic care. Read more about it here.  

2. Talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.

Supplements can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke by lowering dangerously high protein levels like homocysteine and C-reactive protein. These proteins are just as high of a risk as high cholesterol levels and many people either haven't heard of these proteins or have NEVER had their levels checked. Supplements can completely and naturally manage these risk factors with proper guidance from your doctor. 

3. Cut back on coffee and switch to caffeine-free.

Many experts agree that switching to decaf coffee can lower your risk for blood pressure, however new studies have been showing its the amount of coffee you drink and not just the caffeine that has the biggest impact on your blood pressure. Limit your cups of coffee to two per day and switch to decaf. Read more here. 

4. Indulge in anti-oxidants such as those found in dark chocolate.

Researchers have found that the anti-oxidants found in dark chocolate and cocoa has a healthy effect on blood pressure and blood glucose levels as well. The study found that insulin resistance was reduced after 15 days of dark chocolate consumption of 100g or 3.5oz per day. Read more about it.

5. Cut back on sodium.

Doctors have been saying to lower your salt intake for years to help with blood pressure. Listen up! Studies and more research has not proven otherwise and suggest that lower than 1500mg of sodium per day has great blood pressure lowering effects. Read more here.

6. Get to a healthy weight.

Reducing your weight can help decrease the stress and demand on your heart and have other healthy effects as well. It can reduce your risk for many diseases and improve your blood sugar as well. Talk to your doctor about options for reducing your weight and healthy diet tips you can adopt on your own.