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Monday, August 13, 2007

High Blood Pressure

It's becoming more and more common for young people in their 20s and 30s to be diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The orthodox medical approach to these conditions is to prescribe drugs to address these symptoms. Often only rudimentary advice is given to lifestyle and diet (both of which are major causes of these conditions). However, many young people who have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol have reasonably healthy lifestyles. So why do they have these symptoms?

With my clients I take a naturopathic approach to these problems. The liver is the organ which produces cholesterol in the body, and breaks down unused cholesterol into bile. It is very important to pay attention to the health of the liver when treating someone with high cholesterol. Fibre is also vitally important in making sure excess cholesterol (in the form of bile) is taken out of the body with the faeces. Nutritional therapy programmes are very successful in lowering cholesterol, using a combination of supplements and dietary changes. I have always believed it is better to tackle the root of the problem rather than to take a medication to mask the effect of the symptoms, and this is always my approach.

High salt intake is a cause of high blood pressure, and one of the most important dietary changes when treating high blood pressure is to greatly reduce salt intake. But some of the healthy young people that I come across with high blood pressure do not have diets high in salt, so what could be the cause of their problem? Magnesium is a mineral that is often ignored by the orthodox medical profession, and it has myriad important roles in the body. One of its functions is in regulating blood pressure and sometimes simply taking a balanced magnesium supplement can reduce blood pressure to normal levels. I have seen this time and time again with my clients.

High blood pressure is also a condition that can be caused by stress and emotional pressures. There are few drugs that can be prescribed to alleviate these factors (without resorting to antidepressants and tranquilisers). Health Kinesiology is a fantastic therapy to help reduce stress and internal emotional problems that could be contributing to high blood pressure, and in my opinion it is a much better option than the anti-hypertensive drugs that are so commonly prescribed.



PS: Of course, it is always important to see your doctor if you have any of these conditions so that they can check there is not a more serious underlying problem, and to prescribe accordingly. And always check with your doctor or nutritionist before taking a nutritional supplement for a particular health concern.




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