Hypertension is the most common primary diagnosis in the country. It is a serious public health issue affecting over 30% of the adult population of the USA. Hypertension and hypertension related conditions are a leading cause of death with nearly 350,000 per year. It is also a very manageable condition. In most cases Chiropractors should be managing these patients in their offices. Chiropractors are trained to make the diagnosis and in the treatment methods required. For some treatments they are the only practitioners trained.
Hypertension is broken into two categories, essential and secondary hypertension. Essential Hypertension is the most common and the one that we know least about. It is linked to lifestyle, genetics, age and so much more. Secondary Hypertension is easier to understand. In these cases the increase in blood pressure (BP) is caused by another condition such as kidney disease, or endocrine problems. Patients with secondary hypertension should be referred for the appropriate medical care.
Diagnosis and classification of hypertension is simple:
|Systolic BP (SBP) mmHg||Diastolic BP (DBP) mmHg|
|Hypertension Stage 1||140–159||90–99|
|Hypertension Stage 2||>160||>100|
Blood Pressure will vary a little each time you take it so it is important to take multiple readings in a systematic manner using the same arm and technique each time. Readings over time will give you the best idea of where a BP truly is, and at least 3 readings on separate occasions are suggested.
The following is a small list of common drugs or drug categories that can increase BP:
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen)
- Decongestants, Cough and Cold Medications
- Headache Medications
- Weight Loss Medications
- Corticosteroids such as asthma medications
- Oral contraceptive hormones
- Adrenal steroid hormones
- Licorice (including some chewing tobacco)
The home remedy is really the only remedy, if by remedy you mean cure. You see high blood pressure is usually a lifestyle issue. That means the things that you do from day to day are causing your high blood pressure. Change those things and your blood pressure normalizes. If it doesn’t then you’re blood pressure is just a symptom of something else that needs to be addressed medically (small % of the cases). High blood pressure is just a symptom and not a disease in and of its self.
The recommendations for management of hypertension start with lifestyle modifications such as achieving and maintaining normal body weight, BMI of less than 25. Blood pressure can be reduced between 5-20 mmHg by achieving and maintaining a normal BMI. Weight loss of even 10lbs can show significant reductions in BP. Good diet, specifically the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension ( ), has been shown to decrease your BP between 8-14 mmHg. Diet can also help to decrease your weight. Reducing sodium intake as a part of your diet can reduce your SBP by 2-8 mmHg. Exercise, even just brisk walking for 30 min a day, 5 days a week, can reduce SBP by up to 9 mmHg. Limiting alcohol consumption and quitting smoking also have significant effect on reduction of SBP.
It is not unreasonable to expect a 10-20 mmHg drop in BP with just lifestyle changes. Because all of the lifestyle changes are interrelated you cannot just add the possible reductions from each together to determine how much this treatment should reduce BP. It is important to keep a balance in treatments and utilize all of the lifestyle modifications possible.
The medical recommendations of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure suggest that medication should be used in conjunction with lifestyle modification for Stage 1 and 2 Hypertension. Lifestyle modification has been shown to be effective at reducing BP even without medication, and so suggests that most cases of hypertension can be brought under control without medication. Chiropractors can provide benefit in these cases in multiple ways. The Journal of Human Hypertension and others report that in initial studies chiropractic treatment was found to have the long term effectiveness equivalent to using two medications for reducing hypertension and it had no negative effects. The results showed an average reduction of 17 mmHg Systolic BP and 10 mmHg Diastolic BP. The nature and frequency of chiropractic treatments lends to more frequent contact with patients which provides greater opportunity to educate, encourage and to monitor BP levels.
In other words chiropractors use the only remedy/home remedy to treat high blood pressure. You can do it on your own or ask your chiropractor about it.