High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

Chances are you will not know if your blood pressure is too high – unless you have it checked regularly.

However if it was as simple as eating better and exercising more there wouldn’t be an estimated 5 million people in the UK with high blood pressure.

There is a catch to this: your blood pressure is designed to go up and down depending on what your circumstances are – so if you are annoyed that you have had to wait in the waiting room past your appointment time – when you have a hundred and one things to do,  it `s highly likely that your blood pressure will be elevated when tested. This may result in you being prescribed strong drugs unnecessarily.

In order to get a more accurate diagnosis, the GP should do a test which involves a 24 hour (or sometimes even longer)  monitoring. This will show if you have a consistently high reading over a period of time.

Why is it important – if untreated it increases your risk of:

  • heart attack
  • heart failure
  • kidney disease
  • stroke
  • dementia

What is high blood pressure?

The job of the heart is to pump blood around the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Obviously this incurs some pressure within the arteries and veins. However if your arteries are narrowed these vessels are placed under too much pressure. This in turn leads to an increase in work within the vascular system and leaves you open to the above conditions.

Who is at risk of developing high blood pressure – if you:

  • are aged over 65
  • are overweight
  • have a relative with high blood pressure
  • are of African or Caribbean descent
  • don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables
  • don’t do enough exercise
  • drink too much alcohol
  • are constantly stressed
  • smoke

So what can you do about it?

Obviously you can’t turn back time or change who your parents are but there are certain steps that you can take: Improving your diet and starting moderate exercise will definitely help as this will inevitably lead to weight loss. If ever there was a reason to stop smoking this is probably it – it is reported that smoking cessation is the most important lifestyle choice when it comes to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. There is further advice which seems sensible – cut back on alcohol, reduce stress and decrease caffeine. Sleep is incredibly important as if you are getting adequate rest – your stress levels will decrease and you are more likely to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan.

As you can see the treatment of high blood pressure is by definition a holistic one (even the GP s agree on this). As a herbalist I will work closely with you to build a realistic lifestyle plan designed specifically for you to make these goals achievable. Added to this I will prescribe herbal treatment suited to your condition and carry out regular assessments to carefully monitor your progress.