Hypertension is one of the greatest health care problems facing today’s world with 50 million North Americans suffering from this often-silent killer. Elevated blood pressure is a known risk factor for heart attacks and strokes along with excess wear and tear throughout the body and hypertension is the foremost cause of unexpected death. Hypertension also contributes to comorbidity in individuals with diabetes: More than 73 percent of people with diabetes also have elevated blood pressure.1
One of the most challenging aspects of treating a patient with hypertension is that the majority of cases of hypertension are categorized as essential hypertension, that is, the condition’s cause is not readily identifiable. Thus, clinically deciding which of the multiple drug therapies that are most apt to help a given patient is as much art and as it is clinical protocol.
The numerous conventional options to help a patient control hypertension include the following well-known interventions: diuretics; angiotension-converting enzyme inhibitors; calcium-channel blockers; and beta-blockers. Alternative approaches that use natural therapies are equally as varied and they include botanicals, nutraceuticals, diet and lifestyle interventions.