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Specific Health Concern  >>  Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses High Blood Pressure and what you need to consider before treating yours with a life-time of medication

Did you know that high blood pressure has a true cause?
Did you know that your medical doctor will scare you into thinking medication is the only solution? 

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Hypertension ( High Blood Pressure )

About 1 in 3 U.S. adults—an estimated 68 million—have High Blood Pressure. High Blood Pressure greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. The increase in these leading causes of death in the United States, as well as the fact there are often no warning signs or symptoms, have lead to High Blood Pressure being called "the silent killer". 

About High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body. Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but it can cause health problems if it stays high for a long time. It is very important to get your blood pressure checked regularly because many people do not realize they have it. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent high blood pressure, or to treat it if it is already high.
Symptoms

High blood pressure can damage your health in many ways. For instance, it can harden the arteries, decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. This reduced flow can cause:

  • Chest pain, also called angina
  • Heart failure, which occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.
  • Heart attack, which occurs when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle cells die from a lack of oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
  • High blood pressure can burst or block arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain, causing a stroke.

High blood pressure often has no warning signs or symptoms, which is what makes the “silent killer” so deadly. The only way to detect whether or not you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure measured by a doctor or health professional. Despite being a quick and painless procedure, due to the fact few

 

Causes

Blood Pressure Signs and Symptoms
High blood pressure often has no warning signs or symptoms, which is what makes the “silent killer” so deadly. The only way to detect whether or not you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure measured by a doctor or health professional. Despite being a quick and painless procedure, due to the fact few

Risk Factors
Some health conditions, as well as lifestyle and genetic factors, can put people at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure. Age can also play a part as high blood pressure is more common in men over the age of 45, and women over the age of 65. Other risk factors include your weight, your level of physical activity, and your diet. While some factors are outside a person’s control, everyone can take steps to lower their blood pressure. This can be done through becoming more physically active, or making dietary changes, stopping smoking, or limiting alcohol intake.

Diabetes
Diabetes affects the body's use of a hormone called insulin. This hormone tells the body to remove sugar from the blood. With diabetes, the body either doesn't make enough insulin, can't use its own insulin as well as it should, or both. This causes sugars to build up in the blood. About 60% of people who have diabetes also have high blood pressure.

Behavior
Healthy behaviors contribute to keeping your blood pressure low, which in turn decreases your risk of heart disease.

Diet
Sodium is the element in salt that can raise blood pressure. Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed and restaurant foods. Eating too much sodium can increase blood pressure. Not eating enough potassium (from fruits and vegetables) can also increase blood pressure.

Weight
Being overweight can cause high blood pressure.

Physical Inactivity
Not getting enough exercise can make you gain weight, which can lead to high blood pressure.

Alcohol Use
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.

Tobacco Use
Smoking raises your risk for high blood pressure.

Heredity
There are also several factors that you cannot change that affect your blood pressure, like heredity.

Age
Blood pressure tends to rise as people get older.

Race or Ethnicity

African Americans have a higher prevalence of high blood pressure than whites

Diabetes
About 60% of people who have diabetes also have high blood pressure

Family History
High blood pressure can run in families. People can inherit genes that make them more likely to develop the condition. The risk for high blood pressure can increase even more when heredity is combined with unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking cigarettes and eating a poor diet. Find out more about genetics and diseases on CDC's Public Health Genomics Web site.

 

Traditional Medical Treatment Options and Diagnosis

Treat high blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, your medical doctor may prescribe medications in addition to lifestyle changes. Should you treat your high blood pressure with medication? All drugs may have side effects, so talk with your doctor on a regular basis. As your blood pressure improves, your doctor will want to monitor it often.

Dr. Huntoon's Alternative Medical Treatment Options

Many Alternative Healthcare Practitioners such as a Holistic Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Homeopath or Naturopath have had great success in treating the underlying causes of heart disease. Holistic Chiropractors look to understand the cause of your heart disease by determining what in your life-style and eating habits are contributing to your heart disease. Treatments are focused on enhancing the diet and balancing your digestion, thus eliminating the source of the heart disease.

Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who can help you monitor your blood pressure and address the underlying cause of your high blood pressure is important. By developing a well-rounded, multifaceted approach will help you understand how to maintain a normal blood pressure level and what you can do to increase your cardiovascular and blood pressure health. Developing a healthy life-style with proper guidance from your Holistic Chiropractor is the best prevention when considering how to approach your health.

What to discuss with your doctor

Prehypertension—blood pressure levels that are slightly higher than normal—increases the risk that you will go on to develop chronic high blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Levels

Normal
Systolic: less than 120 mmHg
Diastolic: less than 80 mmHg

At Risk (Prehypertension)
Systolic: 120–139 mmHg
Diastolic: 80–89 mmHg

High
Systolic: 140 mmHg or higher
Diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher

How to Properly Measure Your Blood Pressure

Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless. A doctor or health professional wraps an inflatable cuff with a pressure gauge around your arm to squeeze the blood vessels. Then he or she listens to your pulse with a stethoscope while releasing air from the cuff and watching the gauge. The gauge measures blood pressure in millimeters of mercury, which is abbreviated as mmHg. This should always be done in 3 positions every doctors visit (seated, standing and laying down).

Diastolic and Systolic

Blood pressure is measured using two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in your vessels when your heart rests between beats. If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say "120 over 80" or write "120/80 mmHg." The difference between the two numbers tells us the Pulse Pressure, or the amount of stress on the heart with each cycle of pumping. You always want to know what your Pulse Pressure is when having your blood pressure taken.

Prevention and Quick Tips

High blood pressure increases your risk for heart disease. People at any age can take steps each day to keep blood pressure levels normal. Working with a Holistic Chiropractor is the best way to develop a life-style for creating normal blood pressure.

How to Prevent High Blood Pressure

Eat a healthy diet. Eating healthfully can help keep your blood pressure down. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, which provide nutrients such as potassium and fiber. Also, eat foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Avoid sodium by limiting the amount of salt you add to your food. Be aware that many processed foods and restaurant meals are high in sodium.
Studies have shown that people who eat a healthy diet can lower their blood pressure. For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, see CDC's Nutrition and Physical Activity Program Web site.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can raise your blood pressure. 

Be physically active.
Physical activity can help lower blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate physical activities for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.

Don't smoke.
Smoking injures blood vessels and speeds up the hardening of the arteries. Further, smoking is a major risk for heart disease and stroke. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Your doctor can suggest programs to help you quit.

Limit alcohol use.
Drinking too much alcohol is associated with high blood pressure. If you drink alcohol, you should do so in moderation—no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.

Check your blood pressure.
Getting your blood pressure checked is important because high blood pressure often has no symptoms.

Your doctor can measure your blood pressure, or you can use a machine available at many pharmacies. You can also use a home monitoring device to measure your blood pressure. Make sure you always check your blood pressure in 3 positions to fully understand what your blood pressure is and how your body is reacting to stress. This will help you and your doctor understand the underlying cause of your blood pressure and help you develop a plan for restoring balance to your blood pressure.

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