Saturday, September 10, 2022

Alternative treatments for high blood pressure

Alternative treatments for high blood pressure

The ideal blood pressure for good health is at or below 120/80 mmHg. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition wherein the systolic pressure (numerator) is higher than 160, and the diastolic pressure (denominator) is 100 or above. The rise in blood pressure may be due to hereditary or acquired from several reasons like stress, addiction to alcohol, obesity, and unhealthy eating habits. Medication helps to normalize blood pressure; nevertheless, there are various alternative treatments to check further rise.

Lowering High BP through Supplements

Supplements for hypertension are available in the form of capsules and pills, and you can have them as recommended by your physician. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) occurs in soybean, flaxseeds, walnuts, and green leafy vegetables.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements (EPA-eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA- docosahexaenoic acid) can moderately reduce blood pressure and are derived mostly from sardines, cod liver oil salmon, tofu, and walnut.

Another excellent supplement for an antihypertensive drug is Co-enzyme Q10, found in whole grains, fish, organ meats viz. liver, kidney, and heart.

High blood pressure can also be controlled by taking amino acid supplements, like L-arginine and L-taurine. However, their efficiency is still a question, and studies show that they can manage only for a short duration.

Several herbal supplements are also available for controlling high blood pressure. In Indian Ayurveda, high blood pressure is attributed to a person’s “dosha” or body type. At the same time, traditional Chinese medicines consider problems in the “circulation of vital energy” of the body for a rise in blood pressure. However, both these traditional treatments make use of herbs to heal the body. Rauwolfia serpentine (snakeroot) and Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn) are sometimes used as alternatives to medicines. While hawthorn is effective in controlling anxiety, Rauwolfia contains alkaloids that bring about a positive impact on nerve impulses and blood flow.

Nevertheless, there are several restrictions on using these drugs, so we recommend taking the doctor’s advice before initiating anything.

Garlic supplements must be consumed only after consulting with a doctor, despite having incredible anti-cholesterol properties. This is because garlic interacts with many prescription drugs and leads to blood thinning. Cocoa is a natural source of polyphenols that exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The phenols have a positive impact on heart health, and therefore doctors say that a certain amount of cocoa supplements is beneficial for the body.

Modulation in Diet to Control Rise in BP

The highly popular DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is quite successful in checking the rise in blood pressure beyond normal. It lists down low-fat dairy foods, complex carbs, fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, and other healthy foods that improve heart health and lower blood pressure. It restricts the intake of saturated fats, cholesterol-rich foods (red meat and sweets), and simple carbohydrates. An important aspect of this diet is limiting sodium to 2400 mg per day.

The need to supplement minerals in the daily diet must also be taken into consideration. Doctors recommend the inclusion of foods rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium to maintain the ratio of systolic and diastolic pressure. Apart from these, one should also stop drinking alcohol, which dramatically spikes up blood pressure.

Physical Activities to Maintain Blood Pressure

This is one of the best alternatives for medicines. People who always have problems with ups and downs in blood pressure must be physically active. This implies a complete improvement of health and mind through exercise and meditation. Therapeutic yoga dealing with various postures and breathing techniques brings about a holistic improvement in the body. At the same time, mild aerobic activities like light jogging and walking are effective in bringing down high blood pressure.

Since the most notorious causes behind the rise in blood pressure are stress and tension, one should join stress management and meditation classes to heal the body—this way; people learn how to control emotions and stabilize the mind. Worth to note, acupuncture also works wonders on enhancing heart health. All these non-pharmacological methods are excellent techniques to control hypertension and high blood pressure.

All in all, these alternative treatments have considerable help in fighting high blood pressure and different types of health complications associated with it.

Check with your doctor if you can safely consume them and then strive to give yourself a healthy life.

Allergy Shots

Allergy Shots: An Overview

Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy treatment, wherein each shot contains a very minimum amount of certain specific substances that trigger allergic reactions inside your body. These substances are nothing, but allergens and their dosage are adjusted to stimulate the immune system without causing any severe allergic reaction. The immunotherapy shots are given when allergy medicines fail to heal you, or the allergic symptoms persist for more than three months without any improvement.

Allergy immunotherapy proves an excellent treatment for people with allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), conjunctivitis (eye allergy), or stinging insect allergy. Also, remember that it is not recommended for food allergies.

How do they Work? 

Naturally, the white blood cells produce an antibody (called immunoglobulin) in response to the antigen. This antigen-antibody reaction triggers the release of chemical substances into affected tissues, which gives rise to allergic symptoms. Sometimes the immune response of our body is so violent that the need to suppress it arises immediately, and that is when antigen shots come to play. 

Their primary function is to desensitize this reaction so that the immune response is milder, and the allergic symptoms are significantly reduced. The therapy is carried out in the following way. Usually, two phases are involved in due course viz. the build-up phase and the maintenance phase. The build-up phase lasts for 3-6 months, wherein the patient is given injections once or twice a week with increasing amounts of the allergens. The second phase is initiated after the most effective dose of the build-up phase is reached. The time gap between injections is extended to two to four weeks, and the maintenance dose is also adjusted depending on the severity of the symptoms. 

The dosage is determined absolutely by your doctor, and the dosage of allergens in each of your allergy shots is increased to make your body gets used to the allergens. This process is known as desensitization. The outcome of this therapy is- your body gradually becomes tolerant to the allergens, the symptoms will decrease, and the frequency of allergic reactions is also minimized.

Preparing Yourself for the Shots 

When you go for a test, make sure you clearly explain to your doctor about your health condition. Also, let him know if you feel unwell after the preliminary examination or after taking the shots.
Your doctor will decide the course and duration of the shots. You will have to undergo a skin test to confirm that the symptoms are due to some allergy. Then he will determine which allergens are causing it. Once that is established, that specific allergen is scratched into your skin, which is kept under observation for 15 minutes. If your skin swells and redness appear, then your test is positive. Alternatively, you may have to undergo an allergy blood test also.

The End Result

As already said before, the length of the treatment varies from one individual to another. Signs of improvement are evident in the first year, but you start healing in the second year. Adverse reactions to allergy shots are mild, but because reactions might occur, it is safest to have the shots given in an allergist’s office. In the third year, you are most likely not to have further allergic reactions to those substances. After a few successful years of treatment, if you become entirely immune to those allergens, the shots are stopped, or else the duration is extended for some more time to keep the symptoms in check. 

Side Effects of Allergy Shots 

Although allergy shots are powerful immunotherapy treatments, you must be aware of their potential side effects before starting the treatment. They might cause various kinds of local reactions like itching, swelling, and irritation at the injection site within an hour. 

Systematic reactions are not very common; however, you can experience light-headedness, dizziness, wheezing or chest tightness, and throat swelling. One of the rarest, but the most life-threatening risk of allergy shots, is anaphylaxis, which often begins within 30 minutes of the injection or later. It causes a sudden drop in blood pressure, breathing trouble, skin inflammation, and vomiting.

Risks are associated with any medical treatment.

If we weigh the long-term benefits of allergy immunotherapy treatment, they are indeed more. The allergic symptoms are significantly reduced or are entirely healed. All we advise you are - always consult your doctor before taking this decision and make sure you let him/her know how your body is responding to the shots. Rush to your doctor immediately on observing complications.

Home Remedies for Acidity

Home Remedies for Acidity

Acidity is a prevalent condition that we all have experienced at some point or other. It occurs due to excessive secretion of acids by the gastric glands of the stomach. We feel burning inside our stomach, accompanied by discomfort, dizziness, and pain. It’s more often triggered by consumption of spicy, junk, and oily foods. Some people succumb to acidity quite frequently, and it’s indeed difficult for them to get rid of the discomfort immediately. And that’s when home remedies come in use.

Let’s find out some quick and simple ways to overcome acidity. 

  • If you are prone to acidity, make it a habit to drink a glass of lukewarm water as soon as you wake up in the morning. And then keep drinking at least 2-3 liters of water throughout the day.
  • Do not keep your stomach empty for a long time. Eat at least 5-6 times a day every two hours. Fill your stomach with light and healthy snacks like crackers, nuts, and fruits ( banana, watermelon, melon, and apples). Avoid citrus fruits.
  • A glass of cold milk works wonders on acidity. Milk is rich in calcium, which prevents the formation of stomach acids, so we suggest you have cold milk after a spicy meal.
  • Baking soda has an instant effect on acidity. Therefore, stock it at home. Next time you have acidity, mix one teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water. Stir until it dissolves and then drink it.
  • Tulsi, clove, fennel seeds, cardamom, and amla are natural cures for acidity. So keep chewing them. You can boil mint leaves in water and drink it after your meal to get immediate relief.
  • Ginger aids in digestion. Bite a few dried ginger flakes after your food. Add ginger and garlic to your food while cooking. This will prevent you from developing acidity.
  • Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful acid-neutralizing agent. Mix 2 teaspoons of it with two teaspoons of vinegar in a glass of water. If you are continually having acidity problems, then try this before your meals for a few days.
  • Another excellent cure for acidity is tender coconut water. If you are regularly having acidity problems, then drink its water every day at least for a month or so.
  • Drink more herbal teas like green tea and those with liquorice (also called as licorice) and spearmint.
  • Eat simple foods, along with yogurt and salad. Fish, lentils, beans, lean meat, vegetables, etc. are safe on the stomach. So have them regularly. You can prepare the salad with yogurt, cucumber, sprouts, and onions.

What not to eat and what not to do?

  • Do not sleep immediately after eating a heavy meal. Wait for at least half an hour to allow your food to enter the digestion process.
  • If you have acidity attacks and sour belches now and then, you must consider changing your food habits. Avoid eating spicy foods, fried and fatty items, sauces and seasonings, tomato and tomato-based products, and citrus fruits.
  • Stay away from alcohol and beverages like coffee and tea.

Acidity is not something to worry about too much. You have ample options to get rid of it. However, it would be best if you practiced healthy eating habits to build a healthy system. This way, you will be protected against any digestive disorders.

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