High Blood Pressure

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I am a 64 years old woman. In the last 6 months I have had high blood pressure ever since a stressful event. My cholesterol levels are within normal range. I have been prescribed medication, what other things can I do?

A. Hypertension must be taken seriously, if left untreated can lead onto cerebral vascular accidents (strokes) aneurisms, it also increases the risk for macular degeneration of the eye and dementia. Many people have no symptoms and only find out that they have high blood pressure on a routine check. Medication from your doctor is probably the best way to go, as it more cost effective for a long term condition.

If the stress is brought under control, the dose of your medication may be able to be reduced according to your doctor.

Supplements of magnesium relax the nervous system and also the muscular wall of the arteries such that the blood vessels dilate and the pressure reduces.

Exercise such as yoga or walking can reduce blood pressure owing to the relaxing properties and also the weight loss (where relevant).

Meditation is also an excellent tool.

Choose only one hour in the day in which you are allowed to worry – otherwise, let it go!

Avoid stimulating drinks such as caffeine.

Eat plenty of fish, or fish oil rich in EPA and DHA which studies confirm to lower the hypertension by raising levels of the anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic prostaglandins.

Probiotics especially Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum have studies to confirm their properties in reducing hypertension.