High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Blood pressure varies constantly within the cardiac cycle of contraction and relaxation of the heart and is also affected by the level of physical exertion, anxiety, stress, emotion and other factors. It is determined by the force and volume of the heart output with each beat and on the resistance offered by the larger blood vessels. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a sustained rise in blood pressure above the normal and is associated with an increased risk of stroke and premature death.
There is no obvious underlying cause, although lifestyle factors such as obesity and alcohol and sugar intake play a role. There may also be genetic and ethnic factors. Then there is a percent of cases which have underlying causes such as: Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Pregnancy and Medication such as the contraceptive pill or steroids.
A nutritional therapist will look at the cause of the high blood pressure. A good whole food diet rich in fruit and vegetables, regular consumption of oily fish and strict rationing of fatty or sugary foods will be suggested for those who are predisposed to develop it.
When to seek further professional advice
If suspect that you may have high blood pressure you should consult your doctor immediately.
Autogenic training is very effective for borderline high blood pressure on the upper limits of normal, when no medication has been used. Very high blood pressure controlled by medication needs a considerable period of time before benefit is evident, but it can have an excellent result.
Other therapies include: Naturopathy, Alexander Technique, Acupuncture, Osteopathy, Western Herbalism, Relaxation and visualization, Reflexology, Radionics and Ayurvedic Medicine.
The treatment of hypertension involves a change in lifestyle and if necessary, the prescription of drugs.
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