Hypertension has become a common condition in which the pressure of the blood against the arterial wall is high and that eventually leads to health problems, such as heart disease, kidney failure, etc. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the amount of resistance the arterial wall to the blood flow. The more blood the heart pumps and the narrower the arteries are, the higher the resulting blood pressure.
High blood pressure generally develops over many years, and it can affect anyone but high blood pressure can be easily detected. Most people with high blood pressure are asymptomatic, even when blood pressure readings are high. The normal blood pressure is 120 over 80 mm of Hg but hypertension is higher than 139 over 80 mmHg.
When symptoms are present, they usually are headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, excessive sweating and anxiety.
Types and Causes
- There are two types of high blood pressure.
- Primary or essential hypertension
- The causes of this high blood pressure are unknown. This type of high blood pressure tends to develop gradually over many years.
- Secondary hypertension
- It is high blood pressure caused by an underlying health condition. This type of high blood pressure tends to appear suddenly and causes a sudden spike in blood pressure, unlike primary hypertension. Diseases of the kidney, thyroid and adrenal glands can cause secondary hypertension.
- Other causes are congenital defects in blood vessels, and certain medications, such as birth control pills, amphetamines, etc.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the growth of the processed food industry has impacted the amount of salt in diets worldwide and that this plays a role in hypertension.
- Age: The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age. Hypertension is more common in people aged over 60 years.
- Family history: High blood pressure tends to run in families.
- Ethnicity: Some ethnic groups are more prone to hypertension.
- Salt-rich processed and fatty foods
- Being overweight
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Tobacco chewing and smoking
- Too much salt in the diet
- Too little potassium in the diet
- Too much alcohol
- High levels of stress
Though high blood pressure is most common in adults, children might also be affected due to congenital defects, diseases of the kidneys or heart and mainly poor lifestyle habits, such as unhealthy diet, obesity and lack of exercise.
- Heart attack – blockage of blood supply to heart muscles
- Stroke – cutting off blood flow and oxygen to the brain
- Aneurysm – dilatation of blood vessel
- Heart failure – failure of the heart muscle to pump blood
- Loss of vision from tearing of capillary or arterial walls
- Metabolic syndrome – where there is an increase in triglycerides, decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high insulin levels. These conditions lead to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
- Dementia – narrowing of arteries may limit the blood flow to the brain, leading to vascular dementia.
Management of hypertension
The main things to keep in mind while checking blood pressure are:
1. Regular check-ups
It is always important to keep blood pressure in check. So it is essential to regularly check on the blood pressure professionally or by yourself and thereby adjust your diet and regimen accordingly.
2. Lifestyle adjustments
A healthy lifestyle with a proper diet and regular exercises such as walking, running or jogging will help reduce blood pressure.
3. Stress reduction
Increased stress leads to increased anxiety and blood pressure. Try to reduce any kind of stress that affects the mind through proper planning, organizing and relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.
4. Avoid using alcohol, drugs, smoking, and unhealthy diet
Alcohol and smoking can lead to the narrowing of vessel walls and lead to heart failure.
5. Avoid processed foods
Reduce the intake of salt, eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and high-fibre foods, avoid trans-fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and animal fats, and avoid processed, canned or packed foods as they are high in salt.
6. Consume low-fat dairy products
Try to follow the DASH diet which has been successfully implemented in treating high blood pressure. The DASH diet (or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has been specially designed to help people lower their blood pressure. It is a balanced eating plan based on research studies. It helps to lower high blood pressure, improves levels of fats in the bloodstream and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease
Homeopathic treatment for hypertension/ Blood Pressure
- Lachesis: loquacious, alcoholic, very heavy-headed in the mornings on waking. Lachesis is indicated when kidneys are involved and the diastolic is often raised more than a systolic reading.
- Aurum metallicum: is a wonderful blood pressure medicine where the cardiac muscle is under strain with murmurs and palpitations with depression.
- Crataegus: is the best medicine in the treatment of blood pressure as it has cardio-protective qualities. Crataegus cleans up the arteries removing the crustaceous and fatty deposits on the arterial wall.
- Belladonna: In cases where headaches are a frequent accompaniment of the condition. The pain is in the temporal region and feels like a throbbing sensation. There may be heat and redness on the face. The suddenness of the symptoms is another good indication.
- Nux Vomica: it is indicated when the high BP is due to overindulgence in food, alcohol and stimulants. Intermittent high readings from overwork, smoking, over-eating or drinking too much alcohol.
- Natrum Mur: high BP due to excessive salt intake, salty food or products, fried things, pickles and sour things. The face or the eyes are puffy. The tongue is usually coated asymmetrically. The person is anemic with headaches and palpitations.
- Glonine: the face is flushed red and there is congestion of the blood to the head and face, throbbing headache. Great lassitude, is irritable and gets excited at the least opposition. The headache and other symptoms are excited by exposure to the sun and seem to correspond with the rising and setting of the sun.
- Rauwolfia: one of the best homeopathic medicines for high blood pressure. It is used as a stock medicine when there are no other indications. There is irritation of the nervous system. This is most effective in the mother tincture form.
- Baryta carbonicum: Cardiovascular problems, especially if associated with headaches.
- Baryta muriaticum: A high systolic pressure and a low diastolic pressure.
- Adrenalinum: high BP due to long-term stress.
- Picric acidum: high BP with stress due to overwork; headaches, fatigue or fluid retention