More than 74 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. As any person who is diagnosed with high blood pressure can tell you—it’s frightening. Once diagnosed, many patients are placed on medications such as diuretics. These medications deplete the body of potassium and magnesium resulting in such ailments as muscle cramps, fatigue and weakness. People often seek the advise of a naturopath when they have been prescribed blood pressure medication and are looking for a more natural approach. An assessment of them through blood work often finds numbers approaching hypertension. High blood pressure has many different causes. Finding the root of the problem is the key to a creating a natural treatment plan. High blood pressure may be caused by high levels of Homocysteine, an amino acid that causes plaque buildup in the arteries and affects blood pressure. This compound can be reduced by administering vitamins B6, B12 and folate. Regular injections of these vitamins often drops blood pressure by 10 to 20 points in as little as six weeks. These vitamins may also be ingested, but it takes longer to work than injections. High cholesterol may also be an underlying factor. If a person has high cholesterol, they also have high plaque development, which affects blood pressure. Niacin (also known as vitamin B3) is an organic compound used most commonly in modifying cholesterol levels. Magnesium and potassium deficiencies are common with patients placed on diuretics. Depleting the body of potassium also affects magnesium levels, which is one of the top deficiencies in the United States. Using magnesium supplements or eating foods high in both potassium and magnesium may also help to lower blood pressure.
Diet and Food to Treat High Blood Pressure
Vitamins B6 and B12: diary, beef, chicken, eggs and pork. Vegetarians are at a higher risk for deficiency in these vitamins and may want to take supplements. Folate: spinach, asparagus, lentils and collard greens are excellent sources. Magnesium: nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews and peanuts, halibut, soybeans, spinach and oatmeal. Potassium: bananas, apricots, beans, tomatoes, melons, potatoes, peas dates and figs. Mediterranean diet: The Paleo–Mediterranean diet helps hypertension and lowers blood pressure. It is composed of nuts, colorful vegetables and fruits, which are full of nutrients such as vitamins B6, B12, folate and magnesium. It also consists of a combination of whole grains, seeds, legumes, seafood and good fats like olive oil. These healthy foods consumed in small portions help to make a healthy heart and body.
Herbs to Treat High Blood Pressure
Hawthorne Berry: This herb works as a vasodilator. It dilates the arteries and allows for more oxygen and blood flow. Hawthorne berry is a very nutritive herb for the cardiac system in general and is found in most herbal formulations. Garlic: Garlic not only tastes wonderful, it also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. It can be consumed raw or in supplements. For patients suffering from high blood pressure, there may be a number of causes. Finding the root cause is crucial to finding the right treatment plan. It is always important to seek the health care advice of a naturopathic physician before administering herbal remedies.
About Dr. Pingel:
Dr. Tricia Pingel is a naturopathic medical doctor located in Scottsdale, Arizona. She treats a variety of conditions, including menopausal symptoms with bio-identical hormone replacement, infertility, cardiac, thyroid disorders, anxiety/depression, gastrointestinal concerns, such as, gas/bloating, food allergies, celiac disease, IBD and more! Please visit www.drpingel.com for more information.