High Blood Pressure / Hypertension Puts You At Risk For Heart Disease And Stroke

John Gray

The problem with high blood pressure is there are no symptoms at first. Almost one-third of people who have high blood pressure don't know they have it. Even further, the vast majority of people diagnosed with hypertension have no clear symptoms of their high blood pressure.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the most important risk factor for premature death, accounting for half of all deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and 14 percent of all deaths each year. When you blood flow begins to push too hard against your blood vessels, it leads to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and eye problems if untreated. Nine in ten Americans are expected to develop high blood pressure by the age of sixty-five.

The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. This is especially important if you have a close relative who has high blood pressure.

Your doctor may want to write you a prescription if it goes above 140/90. However, medication to lower blood pressure can cause side effects such as leg cramps, dizziness, and insomnia. Even worse, studies have shown that drug therapy for “high normal” blood pressure and even mild hypertension is not effective. A large review of randomized, clinical trials performed by the prestigious Cochrane Collaboration found that anti-hypertensive drugs used to treat mild hypertension (140–159 / 90–99 mm/Hg) did not reduce disease complications or the risk of death.

Fortunately, you may be able to avoid medication with some simple lifestyle and dietary changes. First get to a healthy weight, get regular exercise, avoid smoking and eat a nutritious, healthy diet.

High blood pressure affects only one percent of hunter-gatherer populations following a traditional diet, but its prevalence increases when those cultures adopt a western diet and lifestyle that is characterized by processed and refined foods, sedentary behavior, chronic sleep deprivation, a lack of sun exposure and excess use of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

The biggest way to lower blood pressure is to get to a healthy weight for your body type. Thankfully, many of the suggestions below will help you lose weight at the same time that you lower your blood pressure.

Here are some suggestions that will help lower your blood pressure naturally: 

Exercise More

Exercise helps the heart use oxygen more efficiently, so it doesn't work as hard to pump blood. A recent study of people with high blood pressure who went for fitness walks at a brisk pace lowered their blood pressure by almost 8 mmhg over 6 mmhg.  Start each day with my bounce-and-shake exercises or take a brisk, 30-minute walk 4-5 days each week. Try increasing speed or distance as you go too. 

Work Less
According to a University of California study of 24,205 California residents, people who worked more than 40 hours per week had a 15% increases risk of hypertension. It came down to how most of them scheduled their time. When you work overtime, it is harder to exercise and eat healthy. It may be difficult to change your work hours, but try to set aside 30-60 minutes each day to take that brisk walk and cook a healthy meal.

Breathe Deep
Slow breathing, meditation, qigong, yoga, and tai chi all help to decrease stress hormones and blood pressure. My guided meditations are very helpful to keep you focused or just simply try 5 minutes of deep breathing in the morning and at night. Inhale deeply and expand your belly. Exhale and release all of your tension.

Relaxing Music
A research study by the University of Florence in Italy asked 28 adults who were already taking hypertension pills to listen to soothing classical, Celtic, or Indian music for 30 minutes daily while breathing slowly. After a week, the listeners had lowered their average systolic reading by 3.2 points; a month later, readings were down 4.4 points.

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  • Crystal
     11/7/2013 9:47:21 PM
    This video was most informative - I've read many articles, but I learned more from this video then anything I've read. Looking forward to many more of your articles Thanks

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