Hypertension is one of the greatest health care problems facing today's world with 50 million North Americans suffering from this often-silent killer. According the American Heart Association, one in three U.S. adults has hypertension, and one-third are unaware that they have it.1 Elevated blood pressure is a known risk factor for heart attacks and strokes along with excess wear and tear throughout the body, and hypertension is the foremost cause of unexpected death. Hypertension also contributes to comorbidity in individuals with diabetes: More than 73% of people with diabetes also have elevated blood pressure.2 One of the most challenging aspects of treating a patient with hypertension is that the majority of cases of hypertension are categorized as essential hypertension, that is, the condition's cause is not readily identifiable. Thus, clinically deciding which of the multiple drug therapies that are most apt to help a given patient is as much art as it is clinical protocol. The numerous conventional options to help a patient control hypertension include the following well-known interventions: diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and beta-blockers. Alternative approaches that use natural therapies are equally as varied, and they include botanicals, nutraceuticals, diet, and lifestyle interventions.
The first intervention for hypertensive treatment common to all fields of medicine is to incorporate diet and lifestyle changes, such as increased exercise, increased consumption of magnesium and potassium, and a low-sodium diet. Beyond these first steps to set the foundation, the realm of specific supplementation protocols are individually customized and frequently include coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) berry extract, olive (Olea euro-paea) leaf extract, garlic (Allium sativum), coleus (Coleus forskohlii), omega-3 fatty acids, and L-arginine. Clinical practice routinely demonstrates that a multifactorial approach of lifestyle changes combined with appropriate supplements can make a significant impact on hypertension. The "bottom line'' when creating a therapeutic intervention for a patient who has hypertension is to achieve a normotensive state safely with as few side effects as possible, while supporting overall cardiovascular health in a manner that is sustainable for a lifetime.
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Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...