High Blood Pressure Treatments in Chicago, IL
High Blood pressure is considered one of the most common medical conditions in the United States. As a significant medical condition that increases the risk of heart disease, it has been common to treat high blood pressure through a variety of prescribed medications. Often, this method and approach 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 our doctors take at Chicago Natural Health Care 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.
What is High Blood Pressure?
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 and suffer with 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 and cardiovascular disease.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
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, negative and unwanted effects in the body. It is important for individuals over the age of 18 be checked once a year to monitor their blood pressure for early detection.
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 a strain on the heart muscles and the cardiovascular system. In the brain, it leads to the weakening of blood vessels, blood clots or stroke. Also, the delicate, intricate mechanisms in the kidney can be affected leading to kidney disease and dysfunction. However, this condition is highly preventable with small daily changes and diet management.
High Blood Pressure Functional Medicine Approach
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 our Functional Medicine doctors at Chicago Natural Health Care, 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.
The most commonly diagnosed medical condition in the United States is high blood pressure or hypertension, and blood pressure medications are among the top 10 most commonly prescribed drugs. However, these medications can cause undesirable side effects. It’s better to address the underlying causes of high blood pressure—research shows diet and lifestyle changes are just as effective or even better than medications in lowering high blood pressure.
Why should you be concerned about high blood pressure? High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, diabetes and peripheral vascular disease. Thirty percent of the population has high blood pressure, and another 30 percent has pre-hypertension, or somewhat elevated high blood pressure. Men are more likely than women to have high blood pressure before the age of 45, but after 65 the ratio reverses. African Americans and Mexican-Americans are at an increased risk.
Diet and lifestyle changes most effective approach
Instead of treating symptoms, address the actual causes of high blood pressure for lasting better health. Studies have shown that lifestyle changes alone can reduce the risk of heart disease by a dramatic 90 percent. Lifestyle interventions influence the fundamental biological mechanisms leading to all chronic disease. For instance, regular exercise is one of the best ways known to control high blood pressure. Other important factors include a whole foods diet rich in plant fiber and low in sugar and sodium, maintaining a healthy weight (a BMI less than 25 is ideal), not smoking, and managing stress, such as through yoga, meditation, walking, and laughter.
Adding the functional medicine approach
In functional medicine, we look for why the person has high blood pressure rather than simply at what can be done to lower it; it’s a person-centered approach, versus a disease-centered one. Factors to consider include genetic predispositions, nutritional deficiencies, environmental triggers, and lifestyle habits, such as:
- Deficiencies in nutrients such as biotin, vitamin D, vitamin C, B1, choline, magnesium and CoQ10.
- Toxic levels of mercury.
- Hypothyroidism: Appropriate management of a thyroid condition such as autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism can normalize blood pressure.
- A lack of dietary potassium and too much sodium. Balancing these nutrients can help balance blood pressure.
- Magnesium deficiency. Many people are deficient in magnesium, which can help relax the blood vessels.
- Chronic systemic inflammation.
- Elevated blood sugar and metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes), which are related to hypertension.
- Hormonal imbalances, such as an estrogen deficiency, can lead to high blood pressure.
By addressing these and other factors, our functional medicine doctors at Chicago Natural Health Care use an approach that addresses the root cause of high blood pressure. Research has shown that up to 62 percent of high blood pressure patients were able to go off their anti-hypertension medications and maintain normal blood pressure by making diet and lifestyle changes.
Get the Help You Need
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 at 773-418-6877 for an appointment or free consultation with our Functional Medicine team.