Of the fifty million Americans that have high blood pressure (hypertension) most look fine and feel fine and therefore do not consider it a serious health condition. Even more disturbing is that only one third of those diagnosed with hypertension choose to do anything about it.  Despite the lack of obvious symptoms uncontrolled long term high blood pressure will make you old before your time. There are several known problems with hypertension such as increased incidence of stroke and heart attack but this silent killer can also cause heart failure, kidney failure, cognitive decline, osteoporosis, eye problems and erectile dysfunction. Do I have your attention?


Many individuals that suffer with hypertension choose not to take their medication because they say they feel so tired. Indeed these medications do interfere with mineral absorption such as potassium, a major energy mover in the body. The good news, a fairly high percentage of those with hypertension can control it with natural alternatives.


Here's what to keep in mind:

1.See your physician first. Unless your blood pressure is dangerously high most physicians are pleased to hear that you want to make life style changes, weight loss, exercise and stress reduction that will help you bring your blood pressure under control.

2.Maintain healthy weight. Studies show that losing as few as 10 pounds can significantly lower blood pressure and reduce the need for medication. The best way to shed that weight is to eat healthy and be physically active.

3.Get regular exercise. Studies show regular aerobic exercise-walking swimming, cycling or jogging can lower blood pressure by increasing the elasticity of blood vessels, reducing stress and promoting weight loss.

4.Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lower fat meat and fish can significantly lower blood pressure. Reduce salt intake. Some hidden sodium culprits: soda pop especially diet soda, processed foods, canned meats, some canned vegetables and shell fish. Use garlic, olive oil, onions, fresh carrots and celery in cooking. Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

5.Don't smoke. Smoking increases blood pressure, injures the vessel walls and promotes a plaque like substance that narrows and hardens vessels leading to stroke and heart attack.

6.Take supplements. Add a calcium magnesium supplement to your diet. Also fish oil, flax seed oil  Coenyzme Q10, Hawthorn Berry, and vitamin C have all been proven to help lower blood pressure. When first starting a program of supplements and herbs start with one and add on monitoring how each makes you feel. If something simple doesn't agree, just back off, try again and if you still don't feel well that particular herb or supplement may just not be for you.

7.Reduce your stress levels. Okay, maybe you can't quit work but most individuals can find a hour a day to unwind doing something that gives them pleasure. Getting plenty of sleep, making time for play, seeing your friends, adopting a pet have all been proven to lower blood pressure.


-The good news hypertension is easily detectable and can often be controlled through the use of the above life style changes. Till next time, Rebecca