Prepared by: Dr.
Alicia C. Omaña, Traditional Naturopath, NMD, PhD, MPH
KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT HIGH
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood
against your artery walls as it circulates through your body. Blood pressure
normally rises and falls throughout the day, but it can cause health problems
if it stays high for a long time. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease
and stroke—leading causes of death in the United States.
Are you at risk?
One in three American adults has high
blood pressure—that’s an estimated 67 million people.
2 anyone, including children, can develop it.
factors that are beyond your control can increase your risk for high blood
pressure. These include your age, sex, and race or ethnicity. But you can work
to reduce your risk by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not
smoking, and being physically active.
hat are the signs and symptoms?
High blood pressure usually has no warning
signs or symptoms, so many people don’t realize they have it. That’s why it’s
important to visit your doctor regularly. Be sure to talk with your doctor
about having your blood pressure checked.
How is high blood pressure diagnosed?
Your doctor measures your blood pressure by
wrapping an inflatable cuff with a pressure gauge around your arm to squeeze
the blood vessels. Then he or she listens to your pulse with a stethoscope
while releasing air from the cuff. The gauge measures the pressure in the blood
vessels when the heart beats (systolic) and when it rests (diastolic).
What blood pressure levels are healthy?
To determine whether your blood pressure is normal, your doctor examines your systolic and diastolic pressures, which the gauge measures in millimeters of mercury (abbreviated as mmHg).
Blood Pressure Levels
systolic: less than 120 mmHg
diastolic: less than 80 mmHg
At risk (prehypertension)
systolic: 120–139 mmHg
diastolic: 80–89 mmHg
systolic: 140 mmHg or higher
diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher
Can high blood pressure be prevented?
You can take several steps to maintain
normal blood pressure levels:
Get your blood pressure checked regularly.
Eat a healthy diet.
Maintain a healthy weight. l
Be physically active.
Limit alcohol use.
Prevent or manage diabetes.
How it is naturally treated
If you have high blood pressure, your Naturopath doctor may
recommend natural formulas to treat it. Lifestyle changes, such as the ones
listed above, can be just as important as taking medicines. Talk with your
naturopath doctor about the best ways to reduce your risk for high blood
1CDC: Deaths: Final Data for 2009. www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_03.pdf
2 CDC: Vital signs: awareness and
treatment of uncontrolled hypertension among adults—United States, 2003–2010.