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High Blood Pressure


Healthy Lifestyles
High blood pressure, like the related disorders of diabetes and obesity, may be helped a great deal by making positive changes to one's lifestyle. Taking these steps may be uncomfortable at first - we've all got our habits and no one really wants to change.

And yet the benefits are big, not only to one's health but also to one's self-esteem.

Everyone can do these simple things to help lower high blood pressure. Most of these steps will also help one lose weight and may even lower blood sugar levels in diabetes.
  • Drink four to eight glasses of water each day (coffee, tea, juice, and soda don't count!)
  • Choose foods low in salt or sodium - it's a very good idea to limit the daily sodium intake to 2000 mg - all you have to do is read the labels
  • Limit alcohol consumption to one or two drinks per day
  • Quit smoking!
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day, five times a week
We all know someone with high blood pressure (HBP), possibly a beloved family member or a lifelong friend. This common problem affects one in four American adults.1 An alarming 75% of patients with type 2 diabetes also have HBP.2

High blood pressure is particularly dangerous because, for the most part, there are no symptoms until severe damage occurs. Heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, and eye disease are some of the serious problems that may result from untreated HBP.

Normal blood pressure is in the range of 120/80 ("120 over 80"). The first number represents the systolic pressure, the pressure at which your heart pumps blood into your arteries. The second number represents the diastolic pressure, the pressure in your arteries between heart beats (the resting pressure). The systolic pressure can increase, in the short term, in response to stress or physical activity. Systolic pressures over 140 and diastolic pressures over 90 suggest the possibility of HBP. Blood pressure readings should be repeated several times, over a period of several days, before a diagnosis of HBP is considered.

Medical treatment for HBP consists of blood pressure-lowering medications (antihypertensives). This group of drugs is typically effective in reducing pressure, but getting the dosages right may be tricky and there may be unwelcome side effects.

Lifestyle strategies and activities (complementary medicine, lifestyle medicine) offer significant, well-documented benefits in reducing blood pressure levels. Regular, frequent exercise is an important part of all lifestyle programs targeted toward lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.3,4 Regular exercise makes your heart stronger, and a stronger heart pumps blood more easily and efficiently. Over time, regular exercise may reduce blood pressure levels by an average of 10mm.

Meditation is another key reducer of blood pressure levels.5 Much more than a New Age fad, meditation has consistently demonstrated benefits related to several health issues. And, meditation is easy to do. All you need is a comfortable chair or cushion that allows you to sit in a straight posture without any tension. There's no special breathing to do and you don't have to do any chanting.

To meditate, sit facing a blank wall (if possible) and let your hands relax in your lap. Tilt your head slightly downward, and let your eyes achieve a soft focus at that slightly downward angle. Breathe easily and gently. Breathe in and visualize energy going up your spine in the back. Breathe out and visualize the energy going down your spine in the front. Silently say "one". Continue up to "ten" cycles, and begin again at "one". That's it!

How long? This is completely up to you. Start with five minutes twice a day, and gradually build up to 20 minutes twice a day. You'll probably notice you're feeling much more at ease, more relaxed, with more energy during the day than before you started meditating. The benefits are powerful, and again, there is a profound effect on high blood pressure.

Your doctor of chiropractic can help participate in a complementary approach, assisting your body and you nervous system to function at peak performance.

1Undiagnosed hypertension is common among urban emergency room patients. Medscape Medical News, Sept 2, 2005 - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/538785.
2Schutta MH: Diabetes and hypertension. Epidemiology of the relationship and pathophysiology of factors associated with these comorbid conditions. J Cardiometab Syndr 2(2):124-130, 2007.
3High blood pressure and exercise: Why activity is key. August 11th, 2006 - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00024.
4Zanabria E, Welch GL: Hypertension and exercise. American Fitness March-April 2003.
5Walton KG, et al. Psychosocial stress and cardiovascular disease. Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program in treatment and prevention. Behav Med 28(3):106-123, 2002.

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Testimonial

I slipped on ice in December, landing hard on my behind. I was in excruciating pain and could barely move. It was a Saturday night but I called the office and left a message (new patient, too, found them on Google.) I received a call back first thing Monday morning, they got me right in that day, and I just completed my 3- month treatment plan. I feel so much better and am happy to have found Dr. Ide and his staff.

    ~Amy Hawker
     Fenton, MI

Dr. Ide and his staff are awesome. I had all but given up and I saw his ad. I am s happy to be out of partial pain and I have only gone twice, I cannot wait for the end results. Just to be pain free. Dr. Ide, I thank you so much.

    ~Patsy Dimond-Spencer
     Fenton, MI

Dr. Ide and his staff have given me my life back. The day I called to make my first appointment I had been suffering from a migraine and severe neck pain for 6 days. This was also after receiving multiple pain injections from my primary physician with no relief. His staff not only verified my insurance was accepted at this location before even offering me an appointment time (which multiple offices will not do this) over the phone but I was able to make an appointment for the same day. Dr. Ide took the time to obtain pertinent patient history and not only explain but he also showed me on my x-rays why I was experiencing pain. He addressed the root of the problem instead of pushing prescriptions to subside your symptoms. HE discussed my POA in detail and reiterated why finishing therapy and continuing home therapy was important. I was hesitant and nervous about my first adjustment but again, he took the time to walk me through each step. Paired with my weekly adjustments I also receive massage therapy. Monica, the massage therapist is incredible. She takes the time to ask specific questions before the massage to ensure she provides the best care possible. Kasey, Dr. Ide's assistant is extremely personable and continues to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your visit. The front staff also provides a warm and welcoming environment. Within my first month of treatment, I'm able to go das without a headache now and I have reduced the frequency of my pain medication. I highly recommend Dr. Ide and his staff!

    ~Leah Craig
     Fenton, MI

Very friendly staff and knowledgeable doctor! After doing a 3 month program, I no longer have daily headaches, back pain or neck pain. Most doctor's adjust your back and send you on your way - Dr. Ide makes sure to turn it into a lifestyle change by improving your posture and fixing any issues you may have. I would definitely recommend him over any chiropractor.

    ~Lauren Dunigan
     Fenton, MI

I always have good service and leave feeling good! The people are nice and all know my name. I really like how they do business for senior citizens... that's a big plus!

    ~Nancy Matson
     Fenton, MI

Very extensive in the examination. Not like other chiropractors I'd seen who just do a quick adjustment. They diagnosed the problem and are working to correct it with me. They have even went so far as to work out payment arguments for the things my insurance wouldn't cover.

    ~Brandon Ogle
     Fenton, MI

I had neck and shoulder pain since 2010. Ever since I started going to him I have felt better and better!

    ~Andrel Jacobs
     Fenton, MI

I had ankle problems all my life in my left foot. Dr. Ide adjusted my ankle for me and within one adjustment my ankle felt the best ever. Thanks Dr. Ide!

    ~A.H.
     Fenton, MI

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