According to the American Heart Association there are high blood pressure remedies that don’t call for drugs that most of the 50 million Americans who have this condition can benefit from. In fact the AMA says that medication is only useful when diet, exercise and changes in lifestyle fail to work. So what are these drug free remedies and why aren’t more people using them?
To answer the last part of the question first, our American medical professionals turn to pharmaceuticals first as a matter of routine. That’s the way they are trained and that’s the most efficient use of the 15 minutes that they typically can allow for each doctor’s visit. This is not to say that they don’t care, it’s just the way our health care system has evolved.
The net result is that treatment for high blood pressure usually involves testing different types of drugs and different doses until a combination is reached that effectively manages blood pressure. The problem of course is the discomfort and unnecessary over dosing that can result from this practice of mixing and matching. People trust their doctors so they accept this practice.
But how much do you know about blood pressure remedies that don’t require drugs?
There are no definitive causes for hypertension but there are almost always the same lifestyles that lead up to it. Common characteristics in people with elevated pressure include obesity typically caused by a sedentary lifestyle and a diet high in fats and low in nutrition. Stress is the second common characteristic and with over half of Americans suffering from some form of sleep deprivation that’s understandable.
The three things that are common to bringing on HBP, lack of exercise, poor diet and stress are the three things that can just as easily reverse and even cure the condition.
But this is where it can get really complicated and requires more effort than some people are willing to exert.
This is an easy one. Exercise is the fastest way to lower blood pressure period. Forty minutes of light aerobic exercises like walking or riding a bike will lower pressure immediately after the exercise ends and keeps it down for approximately 24 hours.
Exercise strengthens the heart muscle making it a more efficient pump, trains the blood vessels to expand during the systolic beat, burns off excess adrenalin and other stress related chemicals and of course over time burns off extra pounds reducing the risk of obesity.
Thanks to the food processing and packaging industry, and restaurants that are more interested in making a buck than nutrition, eating a healthy diet has become almost impossible. Additives like sodium and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are found in all types of processed and packaged foods even the so called reduced fat and low fat varieties.
The only way you can insure you get the nutrition you need is to eat fresh food. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are needed to counter hypertension are most abundant in fresh fruits, vegetables and certain fish. Eating right requires extensive planning. See the AMA’s DASH diet for a list of foods that are truly heart healthy.
In today’s uncertain economic environment there’s enough stress to go around for everyone and it affects more than just our blood pressure. Stress can be managed in part by diet or rather by avoiding certain foods and drinks in our diet, As mentioned above, exercise burns off the affects of stress and you may want to consider exercising in the evening after a day of building up stress rather than in the morning.
In order for these blood pressure remedies to work you have to have a plan and you have to stick to it. The good news is even if you do just a little bit to improve your lifestyle and diet it will have an incremental impact on your pressure. If you use a home blood pressure monitor (which you absolutely should) you’ll be able to get instant feedback on how your efforts are doing.