Kew Beach Naturopathic Clinic

Putting the "care" back in healthcare

Hypertension: the silent killer

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By Helena Ovens, ND

Originally published in our Winter 2013 newsletter

Hypertension (persistently high blood pressure) is divided into two categories; Primary/Essential (93%), in which the cause is unknown, and Secondary, due to a known cause. Precipitating factors include race, age, sex, smokers, diabetics, increased blood cholesterol, hyperthyroidism, adrenal tumours, and heart and kidney disease. Excessive stimulants, such as coffee, tea, drug abuse, excessive sodium intake, birth control pill and stress all play a large part in raising blood pressure.

High blood pressure is not to be taken lightly. It is associated with an increased incidence of sudden death due to stroke or heart attack. Medications (diuretics and/or beta adrenergic blocking drugs) only facilitate symptom removal, do not address the underlying problem, and are associated with numerous side effects. Long term studies have shown that those NOT taking medication actually fared much better. Do not mix MAO inhibitors with tyramine-containing foods (aged cheeses, meats, chocolate, etc.) as this combination can lead to extremely high blood pressure and stroke and may be fatal.

Remember: dietary changes alone will not be enough. You must also improve your lifestyle by decreasing/eliminating caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and include stress management techniques such as physical exercise, meditation, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and psychotherapy when indicated. Supplementation is essential. Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium & Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Lecithin, Flax Oil as well as raw garlic and onions (best eaten on the weekends!) all lower high blood pressure.

Remember, hypertension can be asymptomatic. Some warning signs are headaches, sweating, rapid pulse, shortness of breath, vertigo, and visual disturbances. Hypertension is not a disease but the body’s natural defense and corrective measure to deal with general toxemia, impaired kidney function, glandular disturbances, defective calcium metabolism, degenerative changes in arterial walls, or obesity. Therefore, it is important to eliminate the cause rather than to lower your blood pressure artificially with medication.

Treat the cause, not the symptom, and the symptom will disappear. Hypertension, the silent killer, responds well (and rapidly) to dietary and lifestyle changes. Good Health and Long Life are your Birth Right. Let’s enjoy them! All the best for a wonderful 2013!!

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