High Blood pressure is considered one of the most common medical conditions in the United States. As a significant medical condition that increases risk of heart disease, it has been common to treat high blood pressure through a variety of prescribed medications. Often, this method leads to undesirable side effects from medication and does not address the root cause behind the high blood pressure.
Research has shown that lifestyle changes and diet modifications can be just as effective as medication in lowering blood pressure. The Functional Medicine approach to resolving high blood compliments this and addresses the underlying cause of imbalance and symptoms within the body. By discovering the root cause, we are able to support individuals through personalized treatment plans through Functional Medicine that help them successfully control blood pressure through a healthy lifestyle – thereby delaying or reducing the need for medication.
High Blood Pressure, also termed hypertension, is a prevalent and concerning condition. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that around 1 in 3 adults in the US have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure is considered high when it is consistently measured at over 130/90 mm Hg. The normal range for blood pressure is usually around or below 120/80 mm Hg. This number measures the pressure exerted by blood on the wall of blood vessels throughout the body. When blood pressure is elevated for an extended period of time, it increases the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke.
Many refer to high blood pressure as the “silent killer”. This is because symptoms of high blood pressure are often hard to detect. This leads to later detection and secondary effects in the body. It is important for individuals over the age of 18 be checked once a year to monitor their blood pressure.
Blood pressure is important to manage for many reasons. With chronic high blood pressure, the heart has to pump harder to push blood out to the body, which puts strain on the heart muscles. In the brain, it leads to the weakening of blood vessels, blood clots or stroke. Also, the delicate mechanisms in the kidney can be affected leading to kidney disease. However, this condition is highly preventable with small daily changes and diet management.
In Functional Medicine, we look for what may be causing the high blood pressure and how we can lower it through diet and lifestyle changes. When working with a Functional Medicine doctor, you will undergo a thorough assessment of your current complaints and a complete look at your medical and lifestyle history. After which, appropriate exams and diagnostic testing will be used to complete a comprehensive picture of your health and biochemical makeup. Rather than solely prescribing a medication to minimize your symptoms, your treatment plan will be individualized and based on restoring function where it has been lost.
If you have recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure or looking for preventative care in regards to high blood pressure and hypertension, contact us for an appointment or free consultation with our Functional Medicine team.