According to the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, high blood pressure has been increasing in the US. Data collected between 1994 and 2004 showed that the percentage of people with high blood pressure increased by 5%. In addition the percentage of people with prehypertension, a condition prior to hypertension, increased from 32.3 percent to 36.1 percent. Increase in high blood pressure rates corresponds to the increasing rates of obesity in the country. People with weight problems are frequently diagnosed with high blood pressure. There was an increase in obesity in 60 million adults between 2005 and 2007 alone. Along with obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, a diet high in salts and lack of exercise also contributed to high blood pressure.
High blood pressure generally has no symptoms and people unaware of their blood pressure are exposed to the serious risk of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.
If your systolic blood pressure readings are higher than 120-139 and diastolic readings are higher than 80-89 then you have high blood pressure. If you are within the range then you have prehypertension. In the same study the good news was that awareness of people of their condition increased 5 percent, particularly among black women. Seventy two percent of those with high blood pressure were aware of it, 61 percent were being treated, but only 35 percent had their blood pressure under control.
High blood pressure can be controlled naturally. The first major step to be taken are lifestyle changes. Recently it was recommended that adults should exercise at least 2 1/2 hours a week. You should also give up smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Reduce salt in your diet. Studies have shown that our desire for salt reduces based on how much we consume. So if you start cutting down on salt, you will not feel the need to have more.
Sometimes high blood pressure can also be caused by a family history of high blood pressure. In addition to changes in lifestyle, herbs such as Arjuna and ayurvedic herbal blends such as Abana can help in maintaining normal blood pressure levels. When taking herbs which can cause blood pressure to reduce, you should consult your doctor if you are already taking other blood pressure medication since the dosage may need to be adjusted.