It’s estimated that one-third of people in their 30s and 40s and two-thirds of people 60 and over are living with high blood pressure. High blood pressure (anything above 130/80, according to the American Heart Association) is one of the major causes of increased risk of stroke and heart attack, and it can also contribute to other negative health outcomes like dementia.
Commonly prescribed medications to lower blood pressure are beta blockers to slow the heartbeat, alpha blockers to relax artery walls, and diuretics to remove sodium and water from the body. Although many of these medications are effective at lowering blood pressure, they are not free of their own risks and side effects. Common side effects are fatigue, weight gain, and depression, and in rarer cases people have experienced circulation issues, difficulty breathing, and even kidney damage. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways to give your body a fighting chance at lower blood pressure and better health.
Aerobic and Hand Grip Exercise
One of the best things you can do for lower blood pressure is aerobic exercise. Committing to 70 minutes a week (or 10 minutes a day) of biking, swimming, running, or brisk walking can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on blood pressure. Studies have also shown that hand grip exercises (such as squeezing a V-shaped resistance device) may be one of the most helpful exercises for lowering blood pressure naturally. In one Ontario study, participants completed ten hand grip exercises three times a week for eight weeks. At the end of the study, the participants’ systolic blood pressure was noticeably lower, and ultrasound tests showed that the participants’ carotid arteries had become more flexible than before. In a second study, a group of people in their early sixties who were taking blood pressure medication completed four sets of hand grip exercises three times a week for eight weeks. The results again confirmed a lower systolic blood pressure and arteries that were more dilated and flexible.
Full of vitamins, minerals, and naturally-occurring nitrates, beet juice is another great natural remedy for blood pressure management, higher energy levels, and better brain function. Studies of beet juice have confirmed that drinking just one eight ounce glass a day lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Adrenal Testing and Supplements
The adrenal glands play a major role in regulating blood pressure. We routinely perform simple saliva tests to look for adrenal issues in patients with concerns about blood pressure. It’s important to know that blood pressure medication depletes your body of magnesium and COQ10, so if you are currently taking these medications, it’s wise to replenish them with natural supplements.
Want to learn more about the naturopathic approach to wellness? Call us at 614-985-1435 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
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McDermott, Annette. (2020). 11 Health Benefits of Beet Juice. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/beetroot-juice-benefits
Szokan, Nancy. (2016). This simple hand-grip exercise can lower your blood pressure. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/this-simple-hand-grip-exercise-can-lower-your-blood-pressure/2016/07/07/106bf462-420d-11e6-88d0-6adee48be8bc_story.html
Unknown Author. (2020). Types of Blood Pressure Medications. The American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/types-of-blood-pressure-medications
Vandergriendt, Carly. (2020). What Are the Side Effects of Beta-Blockers? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/beta-blockers-side-effects#side-effects
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