You CAN reduce your blood pressure without drugs

A routine visit with my family doctor revealed that my blood pressure is creeping up as my age . . . er . . . creeps up. I’ve always been the kind of person who had such low blood pressure that the nurse was dubious about my being alive at all, so this has been quite a lot to swallow for me. Gulp!

So . . . I’m mortal and imperfect . . . that’s not news, but that I need to do something to lower my blood pressure now, before I have real problems in the areas of kidney disease, heart disease, or stroke is news to me. What happened? I was 23 and a long-distance runner with limitless energy and very low blood pressure just yesterday . . . right? My doctor mentioned trying meds to reduce it right away, but he knows me pretty well and he took one glance at my face, and changed his mind. He’s pretty intuitive. He then turned away and he grappled around for some literature on how to reduce my blood pressure without drugs, and then he gave me two months to do it.

He didn’t say it, but I know what he was thinking. Come back in two months with your blood pressure lower, Amy, and I won’t talk about drugs again. As long as it stays low. But come back with your blood pressure as high as it is today and . . . you’re going to the pharmacy, baby.

I’ve been doing some reading ever since, and wow–heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans, did you know? And 31% of all American adults have high blood pressure. Why is this? And why do you suppose doctors automatically suggest a pill, rather then trying to figure out why the blood pressure is too high in the first place? Naturally the high blood pressure can do damage to our organs if left untreated, but how about digging deeper and at least trying to find the cause(s) before resorting to drugs? Of course most of us are too heavy and don’t eat as well as we should . . . and maybe we allow too much stress into our lives . . . and we enjoy more salt than we perhaps ought . . . and we don’t get out and exercise like we should. But if we do all these things that we know will help lower our blood pressure first—why not? Sounds like a . . . well, a sound plan to me. At least it’s worth a try.

I would imagine, with statistics like those above, that I’m not the only person around with blood pressure that is creeping, creeping up as I get older. There are lots of things we mortals can do to lower blood pressure without drugs, thus cutting our risks of heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke greatly. But there’s really no time to lose! If your doctor has mentioned to you that your blood pressure is a little too high, too, it’s time for action!

Here are a few things I plan to do immediately to reduce my risk of heart disease, and I know that this is going to peg me as being an almost-old-person. (Sigh):

  • Exercise 30 minutes at least, every day. Every day, every day.
  • Eat more fruits and veggies and less red meats.
  • Increase my consumption of: green tea, red wine, and dark chocolate, all of which have been proven to reduce blood pressure levels.
  • Take a break more often! Let the kids do the dishes (preferably during the red wine and dark chocolate consuming). 😉
  • Eat healthy fats–olive oil and coconut oil are both good for the heart.
  • Lose a few pounds–well, it couldn’t hurt!
  • Take more long hot bubble baths.
  • Remind myself that life is not a sprint. Honestly. Slow down.

I’m attaching an Ezine article today with suggestions on how to lower your blood pressure without resorting to drugs. The drugs can be lifesavers, of course, but they do come with strings attached (that is, unpleasant side effects). Then I’m going outside for a walk, and Gentle Reader, maybe you should, too. (No offense.)

--Sigh--There are so many pretty sights outside this time of year!

–Sigh–There are so many pretty sights outside this time of year!

How to Reduce High Blood Pressure Without Medications

 

Expert Author Simon Foster

Most people diagnosed with high blood pressure are prescribed prescription medications by their doctor. Hypertension medications designed to reduce blood pressure include:

  • ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors – it prevents your body from making Angiotensin II that can can cause our blood vessels to narrow, thicken and stiffen.
  • Alpha Blockers – They stop the hormone norepinephrine from constricting the muscles surrounding veins and smaller arteries.
  • Beta Blockers – they block adrenaline (epinephrine), resulting in the heart slowing and blood vessels to expand.
  • Calcium channel blockers – they inhibit calcium ions from penetrating the heart’s cell and muscles surrounding blood vessels, helping them relax.
  • Central-acting agents – they affect the brain and blocks signals that speeds up heart rate and/or constrict blood vessels.
  • Diuretics – they cause the kidneys to produce sodium and water in the urine deceasing blood volume and pressure.
  • Vasodilators – such as Hydralzine is believed interfere with calcium ion release while the Minoxidil molecule contains a nitric oxide element that can instigate blood vessel widening.

There are a number of problems with blood pressure (BP) reducing medications however. They do not cure the cause of high blood pressure but merely lower it while the drugs remain in your system. This means that people usually have to take medications daily for the rest of their lives in order to keep their blood pressure at an acceptable level.

The other problem with hypertension medications (other than the cost) is a range of undesirable side effects such as: a persistent dry cough, headache, pounding heartbeat, nausea, weight gain, reduced libido, depression, insomnia, shortness of breath, sinus congestion… the list could go on.

Because of these problems a lot of people have been looking into how to reduce blood pressure naturally without the use of medications. Thankfully there are indeed ways to reduce high blood pressure naturally through diet and exercise.

A BP reducing diet includes eating less processed foods high in salt, trans-fats and saturated fats, replacing these with more basic natural, basic ingredients. This shift can not just reduce high blood pressure but can also put you on the path to a more healthier and happier existence. Sure, it means more cooking at home and less eating out at restaurants but maybe that’s a good thing.

You may also want to include in your diet more fruit and vegetables. Celery, bananas, apples, tomatoes, onions and garlic have all been shown to be particularity helpful to reduce your high blood pressure and keep it down.

Supplements can also play a part in an anti-hypertensive diet. Consider taking daily does of vitamin C, B12, Calcium, Magnesium, Omega 3, and Hawthorn tincture.

Exchange your table salt for naturally harvested Celtic Sea salt, full of natural essential minerals (but use it in moderation).

Don’t make the mistake of cutting out all salt intake. Most of the salt we consume is in processed foods. If we cut out processed foods from our diet we need to get salt from somewhere. No salt is as unhealthy as too much.

Also consider eating fish more often instead of red meat.

For a treat have a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa) everyday. Both red wine and cocoa has been shown to help keep the heart healthy and reduce high blood pressure.
Stress reducing exercise has also been shown to be very beneficial in reducing high blood pressure. Slow breathing exercises have been increasing in popularity. Tests have shown that by taking 15 minutes a day to relax and breath in a slow rhythmic pattern can help lower our BP quite significantly over time.

Once thought too wacky, slow breathing exercises have now gone mainstream. You can buy audio tapes on-line to assist you or a slow breathing audio aid machine from pharmacies. Of course you don’t need to buy anything. Just put on some relaxing music in the background and slow your breathing down to 6 or 7 breaths per minute for quarter of an hour. Do this everyday and you will see results.

The other kind of exercise that will reduce high blood pressure is the old-fashioned cardio-vascular kind – jogging, hill climbing, gym work out – whatever gets your heart beating and your blood pumping. If your not ready to climb Mount Everest, no worries. Even a daily walk around the block has been shown helpful to reducing BP over time.

So there you have it. How to reduce high blood pressure naturally is really quite straightforward. Good diet, physical exercise and stress reduction is all that is really needed. Practiced consistently and even the most stubborn high BP should start to come back down.

Simon Foster was a sufferer of dangerously high blood pressure but has now achieved healthy levels through exercise and diet without the use of medications. His mission is to share this knowledge and techniques with fellow sufferers of acute hypertension.
blog: http://highbloodpressurebegone.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Simon_Foster

There you have it, Gentle Reader. What do you think? Have you successfully reduced your high blood pressure without resorting to drugs? I’d like to hear about your experiences in the comment box below.

I’ll be linking up with blog hops at The Prairie Homestead and Frugally Sustainable. Join me!

 

23 thoughts on “You CAN reduce your blood pressure without drugs

  1. Renee

    Great post! I had low blood pressure also growing up, but it does creep with age…and my sedentary lifestyle doesn’t help! Thanks for the info..have a great day! Now let me go figure out why you named your blog what you did…..lol ~ renee

  2. Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

    I, too, found that my chronically low blood pressure is no longer mine. Even though I ride my bike most days and swim a few days a week. I cut out meat (red or otherwise used to be a three or four time weekly sight; now it’s once a week, at most)- but not for blood pressure readings.
    I wish you good luck- and hope this crusade is picked up by the rest of us. Because kidney failure is even more related to this problem.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      That’s what my doctor said, Roy. He said that I didn’t want to be hooked up to a dialysis machine, and he’s right. I wish you good luck, too–we’re all in this together, eh?

  3. Francene Stanley

    I don’t have a problem with high blood pressure–so far. I’m amazed that you do with your healthy life-style. Just today, I read a news item that saturated fats aren’t the ‘heavy bad-boys’ they are cracked uot to be. Many of the ready meals replace the fat with sugar, which is just as bad for raising blood pressure.
    As your article states, a healthy life-style is of optimum importance. It’s a bit hard for those of us who can’t exercise as much as we’d like though. I guess it’s all about balance. Good luck with achieving yours.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Francene, that’s what I thought–that there was no way MY blood pressure could be too high–but I guess it’s a good wake-up call for me. I can always do better!

  4. Chef William

    Great article about a world wide problem. We all seem to face blood pressure creeping up as we age. I do think you might have added the “Take more long hot bubble baths” as an extra item. I have done a lot of research on the subject and this is the first time I have heard about the bubble baths. However, I do enjoy the water, in fact spent about 2 hours yesterday, in the river that runs along our property. The reason for this is that it makes you weightless and that helps the blood pressure as you float and relax. So for someone without access to a pond or river or pool, those long hot bubble baths can be an important step in lowering blood pressure even for just a couple of hours. It all helps

  5. Sara

    I agree with everything except the red meat part. DON’T give up red meat – simply don’t eat the crappy stuff. Grass-fed beef and lamb. You’ll be set. Whole eggs that are pastured. Make sure you’re not deficient in magnesium, as most of us are. Eat a lot of fish and fermented cod liver oil. REAL butter or ghee. And reduce stress a lot. (Yoga?) And change your genetic make-up (just kidding). Oh, and never ever drink licorice tea.
    It’s scary but amazing what we can do with lifestyle change alone.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Sara, are you serious about the licorice tea? I drink LOTS of licorice tea and I love it! Does it really interfere with normal bp levels? And we do eat red meat, but we buy it from a small farmer who raises his steers on pasture. Good stuff that I don’t feel conflicted about eating! Yeah, the genetic make-up is the kicker, isn’t it?? 😉

  6. Pingback: Spices And Your Health | A Healthy Lifestyle For Mind Body and SpiritA Healthy Lifestyle For Mind Body and Spirit

  7. Brenda Cohorn

    Amy, my blood pressure problems came as a side effect of another medicine. What a vicious circle we often find ourselves in. I am cutting down on red meat, eating chicken or fish. We’ve been eating steamed vegetables for lunch, I’ve switched to coconut oil and olive oil. I am reluctant to admit the exercise part is the part that gets me every time…. My blood pressure is controlled by a pill – but I can’t imagine how bad it would be if I hadn’t changed the way I eat. Good luck – I really hope you will be able to control it naturally – as we were intended to do.

  8. Suerae Stein

    Such a great post, Amy! I’m sorry your BP is creeping up and I am much like you…. I had low blood pressure all through my youth and now it is more normal and sometimes creeping up a bit. I have been fortunate to be doing most of the things you have suggested for good health overall. The easiest part for me is the wine and chocolate. The hardest is cutting down on processed foods and adding more fruits and veggies. Smoothies have helped with this a bunch! I am still working towards good health and I wish you luck in your goals!

  9. Alana (@RamblinGarden)

    I am also a member of the “I had low bp in my youth; where did it go?” club. What a large club we are! I have had to change a lot of my eating habits – I thought I was eating healthily but, in the past year, I learned I could do a lot better.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I’m learning, Alana, that it’s a big club! I guess we can always do a little better with out eating habits. (sigh)

  10. Shanon

    There are also some fantastic herbs and supliments that help with high bp. The first thing my cardio said (when I took myself off the meds) was take kyolic garlic in addition to bp/women specific supliments. I notice a 6-10pt difference an hour after taking the liquid (in a home-filled capsule…it’s nasty!). Plus I take 1 1/2dose of the powder capsules 2x day (I think a dose is 1cap…I take 2 in the morning and one afternoon).
    Since then, I’ve discovered things like passion flower, hawthorn berries, fenugreek, st johns wort, cayenne pepper, lemon balm…plus many more. You can actually find organic herbal mixes specifically for bp.
    I also discovered that a “nutrition imbalance/deficiency” can cause my body to block or not absorb other nutrients, exaserbating high bp. Sigh… It can get complicated but its worth it to NOT take meds (especially since i was diagnosed at 38yrs old). Every little bit helps.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      THanks Shanon. I’ve gotten a lot of helpful suggestions since I wrote that post. I appreciate yours! I agree that it’s worth it to try to avoid meds, and that’s my goal.

  11. Carol

    Excellent post. My husband has very high blood pressure and takes tons of meds. I came from a family that scorned medication. My father is 99 today and still doesn’t take meds. Good for you to try and do it naturally. My BP should be through the roof, with all the angst that I inflict upon myself, but last visit it was fine. Now to lose a few pounds 🙂

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Carol, I was talking to my daught about my hbp today, and she said “Mom, you do tend to stress out about things that you don’t need to stress out about . . .” So, there you go. If I can just stop the stress, I’ll be fine . .. but how do I do that?? It’s a puzzlement.

  12. April @ Angel's Homestead

    I really enjoyed your post. My doc is wanting to start me on BP meds because it has been high the last few visits. Thanks for this timely article. I’d much rather control it naturally then with meds. I found you over at The Homestead Barn Hop and would love for you to come share at my Saturday Spotlight Blog Hop!

    April
    Angels Homestead

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Thank you Angel, for the invite, and good luck to you getting your bp down naturally. I’ll check out your blog hop on Saturday!

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