High blood pressure is called a silent killer because it often occurs without obvious symptoms.
Making matters even more complicated is the fact that there is no universal agreement these days on what reading, at what age, should be considered a high number. That has resulted in untold numbers of patients, who had normal readings just a short time ago, being put on multiple risky drugs for no good reason.
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps. It is determined by both the amount of blood flowing through the arteries and the amount of resistance it encounters. If the arteries are clogged, due to excessive calcification or the buildup of plaque, more blood is being forced through a narrower opening, resulting in higher pressure. Untreated, hypertension can lead to stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney disease and other serious health problems.
What are the causes?
Primary hypertension, the most common form, develops gradually over many years with typically no obvious cause. Secondary hypertension, which comes on suddenly and tends to cause higher pressure than the primary kind, can be due to another medical condition, certain prescription or over the counter drugs, such as birth control pills, decongestants and pain relievers or heavy consumption of alcohol.
What are the symptoms?
There are usually no symptoms of high blood pressure, which is why it’s so important to have it checked routinely. Some individuals, however, may experience headaches, lightheadedness, dizziness, fatigue or visual disturbances. An extreme surge in blood pressure can often cause a nosebleed.
How they treat it
Hypertension is conventionally treated using both medications and lifestyle changes. Among the drugs used are alpha blockers, which help relax the blood vessel; beta blockers, which make the heart beat slower, and calcium channel blockers, which prevent blood vessels from constricting by blocking calcium from entering the cells. Such medications, however, can have a wide range of significant side effects, which include chest pain, heart palpitations and arrhythmia. Perhaps riskiest of all, they can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, resulting in falls that can have more severe consequences such as a hip fracture or concussion.
How we treat it
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness we have found that patients with hypertension often suffer from nutritional imbalances, which is why we thoroughly analyze a patient’s nutrient and biochemical levels and make appropriate recommendations using various nutraceuticals. Some patients may also have high levels of heavy metals and other chemicals in their bodies that contribute to high blood pressure, which we also address if necessary. Our experience has been that most patients are able to lessen or completely stop their medications over time and enjoy healthier lives as a result.Learn more about vitamin therapy