This is especially true in industrialized nations high blood pressure (depending on age, this begins on average with long-term values above 140/90 mmHg) as a widespread civilization disease. It is estimated that around every second German citizen over the age of 50 suffers from (often initially symptom-free) high blood pressure. Since high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is among other things a major risk factor for life-threatening diseases of the cardiovascular system, doctors recommend consistent monitoring of blood pressure values.
Schematic representation of the anatomy and structure of the arteries and blood circulation in high blood pressure. Click to enlarge.
Suitable measures to combat high blood pressure are based, among other things, on the individual characteristics and possible secondary diseases or complaints. In addition to treating existing hypertension, an important medical focus is also on early prevention. The range of treatments for high blood pressure covers a wide range of therapeutic approaches and individual behavioral measures. In the case of long-term high blood pressure, experts generally recommend going to the doctor - under professional observation, individually suitable treatment steps can be tackled in this way.
In the ideal case, according to doctors, a successful therapy for high blood pressure consists of various components: In the case of severe hypertension, for example, antihypertensive drugs are often used, which must be supplemented by individually implemented measures. These measures include, among other things, reducing or avoiding excess weight in the abdomen, sufficient physical activity and a consistent change in diet (above all, this includes a reduction in dietary fats, which can be deposited in the blood vessels in the form of blood fats and thus high blood pressure favor).
Avoiding nicotine and alcohol to a large extent and reducing negative stress (distress) can also have a positive effect on blood pressure. Depending on the individual response, a treatment plan for hypertension can also be supplemented with alternative therapy methods (not based on conventional medicine).
Examples include acupuncture and hydrotherapy: As part of hydrotherapy, a professional and regular stay in warm water can contribute to widening of the blood vessels and a subsequent drop in blood pressure. Last but not least, targeted relaxation methods (such as autogenic training) are used as a therapy component to combat high blood pressure.
Since high blood pressure usually develops slowly and over a longer period of time in those affected, most therapeutic measures are also aimed at long-term treatment or control. If those affected notice long-term high blood pressure, experts recommend first seeking advice from a doctor as part of rapid help.
Very pronounced and sudden increases in blood pressure (to approximate values of more than 230/130 mmHg) are considered an emergency in medicine - therefore doctors urgently recommend contacting an emergency doctor in this case. If this step is neglected, a so-called hypertensive crisis can develop in the affected person, which often leads to tissue and organ damage.
If the hypertension in individual cases is the result of an underlying disease (such as diabetes mellitus) or the use of certain medications, the necessary quick help can, for example, refer to a change in the therapy modules used to treat the underlying disease or to a change in medication.
In addition to conventional medicines, alternative remedies are also used to treat high blood pressure. The antihypertensive effect of individual agents can differ from one individual to the next.
Phytotherapy (herbal medicine) uses arnica, hawthorn, mistletoe or garlic to lower blood pressure, for example. To combat negative stress, among other things, hops, lemon balm or valerian in the form of tinctures, teas or capsules are used.
In homeopathy, for example, the Indian snake root (also known as Rauwolfia) is used when there is high blood pressure with an associated feeling of heat.
Hawthorn home remedies will help lower blood pressure.
Medicinal plants such as monkshood (aconite), gold (aurum), arnica or hawthorn (Crataegus) are also used here.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), high blood pressure can ultimately be countered with foods that are said to have a cooling effect. Corresponding foods include zucchini, celery or lettuce as well as green teas and tea drinks made from dandelion or peppermint. TCM advises against hot spices such as chilli.