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Hypertension Center

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Wellness Plan | Pharmacist Recommendations | Related Health Concerns | Additional Information

General Health Information

High blood pressure (hypertension) is the number one risk factor for strokes and heart attacks. It is often called the ?silent killer? because most people cannot feel the effects of elevated blood pressure. When the blood vessels are constantly exposed to high pressure, they may burst (stroke), become inflexible (heart attack), or harden (arteriosclerosis). In most cases, the causes of high blood pressure are unknown. However, high blood pressure is intricately linked to lifestyle and dietary factors. Lifestyle factors that contribute to hypertension include alcohol and caffeine consumption, smoking, lack of exercise, and stress. Dietary factors include obesity, low fiber, as well as high sodium, fat, and sugar intake.

A healthy lifestyle adopted early in life can help greatly in the prevention of hypertension. Proper nutrition, weight control, exercise, stress-management, and good sleep are all part of a healthy lifestyle. It is also important to limit alcohol intake and to avoid tobacco, chemicals, and other environmental pollutants as they all put stress on the body. In borderline-to-moderate cases of hypertension, lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce blood pressure. A program of diet, exercise, and relaxation can be a very beneficial part of any treatment plan for hypertension.

Sometimes a deficiency in minerals leads to hypertension. Adequate intake of calcium, magnesium, and potassium is necessary for good blood pressure control. Essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 from fish oil or flax oil, may have beneficial effects on cholesterol metabolism which is important when dealing with hypertension. Also helpful is coenzyme Q-10, a powerful antioxidant that helps the heart use energy more efficiently during times of stress or physical exertion. Garlic for cardiovascular health, and hawthorn and cayenne for heart health are three herbs that have long-standing traditions in supporting healthy blood pressure as well. Herbs, nutritionals, and a healthy lifestyle are all important tools in our goal of healthier circulation and blood pressure.

Wellness Plan

  • Low fat and low sodium diet
  • High fiber diet
  • Weight control
  • Avoid sugar and caffeine
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco
  • General exercise
  • Stress management
  • Pharmacist’s Supplement Recommendations:
    • Vitamins, Minerals, and Trace Elements - particularly vitamins A, E, C, niacin, and B-complex; pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, calcium, magnesium, and potassium
    • Herbs and Phytonutrients - garlic, hawthorne berry, cayenne, ginger, soy
    • Antioxidants - coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, lipoic acid
    • Amino Acids - carnitine, glutathione, cysteine, methionine, GABA
    • Essential Fatty Acids - omega-3 (DHA, EPA), omega-6 (GLA)

Wellness Centers Related to Hypertension

Brain & Nervous System Endocrine and Glandular
Healthy Living Heart and Circulation
Respiratory Sports and Fitness
Stress Control

Additional Information on Hypertension

  • Blood Pressure: Treat it for Life - excellent overview of hypertension by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • Scouting for Sodium and other Nutrients Important to Blood Pressure - food nutrient review by the Food and Drug Administration
  • Protect Your Heart! Prevent High Blood Pressure - publication by the National Institute of Health