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Natural Ways to Manage Blood Pressure

Try First Before Prescription Medications: Dr. Peter McCullough hosts Dr. Michael Gaeta

By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH

Approximately 65% of adult Americans are taking blood pressure medications.  Thankfully most are affordable generic drugs with well characterized safety profiles.  Population control of blood pressure is one of the best ways of reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease and stroke.  The World Health Organization aspires to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 33% between 2010 and 2030.  Hypertension (high blood pressure) is when the pressure in your blood arterial vessels is too high. It is common but can be serious if not treated.  Here are some more points from WHO:

Risk factors for having high blood pressure include:

  • older age 

  • genetics

  • being overweight or obese

  • not being physically active 

  • high-salt diet

  • drinking too much alcohol

Hypertension is diagnosed if, when it is measured on two different days, the systolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥90 mmHg.

Modifiable risk factors include unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, consumption of tobacco and alcohol, and being overweight or obese.

Non-modifiable risk factors include a family history of hypertension, age over 65 years and co-existing diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease.

People with very high blood pressure (usually 180/120 or higher) can experience symptoms including headaches, nausea, and chest pain.  The severe consequences can include heart failure and stroke.

The WHO says lifestyle changes can help lower high blood pressure. These include:

  • eating a healthy, low-salt diet (DASH diet)

  • losing weight

  • being physically active

  • quitting tobacco

I wondered if this is all we can do on our own without medications.  What are the roles of supplements such as garlic, beet, L-arginine, co-enzyme Q10, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins?   I invited back to Courageous Discourse Dr. Michael Gaeta, a leading naturopathic physician to comprehensively review what can be done to manage with problem without resorting to prescription drugs as a first step.  We agreed that natural solutions should be tried first and if they fail, then it’s time to move on to prescription medications. 

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Courageous Discourse™ with Dr. Peter McCullough & John Leake
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