Today, high blood pressure treatment emphasizes lifestyle as much as medicine. Approaches to lowering blood pressure may also involve using alternative medicines to supplement traditional medication.
In other words, sole reliance on drugs is now being replaced by more comprehensive methods of disease management.
One of the centerpieces of this approach is replacing a sedentary lifestyle with a more active one. Physical activity is very helpful in reducing hypertension.
Increasing levels of physical fitness has many benefits including bringing blood pressure closer to normal levels. Of course, taking up an exercise regimen should be done under medical supervision, particularly if the patient has been leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Exercise also cuts down on excess weight, which is another factor that pushes up blood pressure above normal levels. There is a strong correlation between obesity and hypertension and the latter can often be controlled by taking care of the former.
Stress is a big factor in most people’s lives these days. And stress can contribute significantly to hypertension. Therefore contemporary treatment for hypertension includes making patients aware of the factors that contribute to stress levels.
They are also taught to manage these stress factors better. That includes managing the stress-causing situations better as well as managing the patients’ internal reactions to the stress. The latter can include, among other things, yoga, meditation and relaxation exercises.
Many stressors cannot be eliminated, but may be successfully reduced. Both work and home related stress needs to be managed to help control high blood pressure.
A healthy diet is, of course, essential for hypertensive patients. They are advised to avoid excessive intake of dairy products and salt. Blood pressure can be controlled much more easily when diet is managed well.
Alcohol consumption needs to be moderated or eliminated. Now, there is some evidence that alcohol in small quantities can actually be beneficial to the body. However, continued excess consumption of alcohol puts considerable strain on many organs of the body including the heart. Part of the problem arises from the sheer bulk of alcohol, particularly if beer is consumed.
Foods like garlic and onions as well as some herbs have been found to contribute to lower blood pressure. Herbs that contain an amino acid called L-arginine are said to be useful for this purpose. Utilizing alternate medicine should be done only under adequate supervision.
There are also newer drugs to control high blood pressure, including calcium channel blockers. Some of these drugs effectively counteract side effects caused by medication.
High blood pressure treatment has evolved into a well-rounded approach that relies on more than just medication to handle the condition.