There are many alternative treatments for hypertension, but the most common involves making dietary changes to avoid sodium and other substances that can raise blood pressure. Other common methods include herbal supplements and relaxation techniques. Biofeedback can also be used in some cases, although this is less common than others. Patients should not attempt to treat high blood pressure without direct supervision by a doctor.
The most commonly used alternative treatments for hypertension are diet and herbal supplements. Many instances of high blood pressure are due to eating a diet high in fat, and sodium. If no other health problems are present, sometimes lowering these harmful substances through proper diet can alleviate hypertension. Patients are often encourages to limit their sodium intake, drink plenty of water, and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Fatty foods and heavily processed foods are also usually limited.
Over the counter supplements have also been shown in some studies to help naturally lower blood pressure. Coenzyme 10, garlic, and folic acid are all supplements that may be used. Unlike certain medications, using natural supplements often does not have severe side effects, and they can also be less expensive. However, they can also cause interactions if taken in combination, or if taken with prescription drugs. For this reason, patients should contact their doctors before taking any supplement or natural remedy.
Alternative treatments for hypertension can also include relaxation techniques and biofeedback. Relaxation techniques can include hypnotherapy, meditation, and deep breathing exercises. The effectiveness of relaxation techniques depends on the cause of hypertension, since some studies indicate that normal stress doesn’t negatively impact blood pressure long-term.
Biofeedback is another remedy that has shown promise with some patients, but it is not as commonly used. It refers to the ability to control involuntary bodily functions, such as heart rhythm and blood pressure. There is some controversy on how effective biofeedback is at alleviating high blood pressure and other ailments, but some patients swear by its effectiveness.
Patients should not attempt to use alternative treatments for hypertension without first consulting a doctor. High blood pressure is not only dangerous, but it can be indicative of certain other underlying health conditions. Additional medications may be needed in combination with natural treatments for full effectiveness, at least initially.