High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a fairly common medical condition that affects around 73 million Americans. That's 29% of the population. Only 54% of people diagnosed with blood pressure have it under control. Some people who have high blood pressure aren't even aware of it, making their condition all the more dangerous.
High blood pressure can lead to countless other health issues as well as stop you from doing the things you enjoy. Luckily, there are ways to combat it.
High blood pressure doesn't always have to result in depending on pills every day and dealing with the side effects. In this guide, we're going to go over how to use one of the most powerful minerals in the human body—magnesium—to naturally lower high blood pressure.
What Causes Hypertension?
Hypertension can be linked to a wide range of conditions and habits called risk factors.
Some of the most common risk factors for developing high blood pressure are:
- Lack of physical activity
- A diet heavy in salt
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Older age
Age and race play a major role in the development of high blood pressure as well. African Americans are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure than caucasians. This trend continues up until age 44. At this age range, the gap is reduced.
After age 65, African American women are the highest reported demographic to develop high blood pressure. Cases of hypertension are also reported moreso with men than with women.
Here's a video that showcases how high blood pressure effects your body.
What Are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
Unfortunately, there are no obvious signs that you've developed hypertension. Some people report frequent headaches, nosebleeds, or shortness of breath. Since these symptoms are common conditions that can be caused by any number of factors, they are usually dismissed.
It is very important that you make routine visits to your physician for a complete physical and blood test.
If you don't establish a routine of checking in with your doctor, your blood pressure could reach life-threatening levels and begin to show symptoms.
If you're curious about whether or not your blood pressure is higher than normal, take a look at this graphic:
In the event that you do develop high blood pressure, it's important to know that there are plenty of ways to treat it.
The most common treatment prescribed by physicians is medication. Unfortunately, high blood pressure medications come with some undesirable side effects.
What Are the Common Side Effects of Blood Pressure Medications?
There are different types of prescription blood pressure medications on the market that come with their own set of side effects. And each type of medication treats your blood pressure in a different way.
One common type of blood pressure medication is called a diuretic, which works by removing excess water and salt from your body. Diuretic medications side effects include:
- Excess urination
- Erectile disfunction in men
- Weakness, leg cramps, fatigue
Beta-blockers are another type of commonly prescribed blood pressure medication. They counter high blood pressure by making the heart beat more slowly and less forcefully. Common side effects of beta-blockers are:
- Cold hands and feet
- Sleep disorders (check out this article to learn about how to naturally treat sleeping issues)
- Asthma symptoms
Calcium blockers are a type of blood pressure medication that blocks calcium from entering the heart and blood vessels so they can relax. Common side effects of calcium blockers are:
- Heart palpitations
There are plenty of other scary side effects such as nausea, skin rashes, weight gain/weight loss, excessive hair growth and more. If you're prescribed blood pressure medicine, be sure to ask your doctor about the potential side effects before you begin taking them.
How Do I Naturally Lower My Blood Pressure?
If these side effects scare you away from a prescription medication treatment for your blood pressure, there are natural ways to achieve healthy blood pressure levels.
- Supplements: Magnesium and potassium supplements can be your secret weapon in the fight against high blood pressure.
- Losing Weight: Blood pressure increases as your weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds can begin lowering your blood pressure.
- Get Regular Exercise: Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can reduce your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters. The best exercises are walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and dancing.
- Eating Healthy: Choosing foods that are low in sodium and high in vitamins will reduce your sodium intake. A diet rich in whole wheat, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy are highly recommended.
Healthy life choices that can help reduce your blood pressure include:
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing stress,
- Lowering caffeine intake
How Does Magnesium Lower Blood Pressure?
Magnesium is a mineral that aids in reducing blood pressure by preventing blood vessels from constricting. High blood pressure is caused by the constriction of the blood vessels.
Magnesium not only prevents blood vessel constriction, but it has also been shown to improve overall blood flow.
What Dosage of Magnesium Should I Take for High Blood Pressure?
Your daily dosage of magnesium is really based on your gender.
The University of Maryland Medical Center has suggested a daily dosage of 270 to 400 mg of magnesium per day for a male. For a female, their recommended daily dosage is 280 to 300 mg.
If you have a heart or kidney disease, do not begin a magnesium supplement treatment before consulting your doctor.
What Type of Magnesium is Best for High Blood Pressure?
There are multiple ways to get extra magnesium into your body. The most obvious way is through a magnesium-heavy diet.
Foods to add to your shopping list for an extra boost of magnesium include:
- Sunflower seeds
While you should definitely aim to get as much magnesium from food as possible, it can be difficult to get your daily recommended amount from food alone, which is why 80% of the population is magnesium deficient.
Curious about whether or not you're deficient in magnesium? Here are five common symptoms to look out for:
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And when you're trying to lower high blood pressure, you need as much magnesium as you can get (within the recommended dosage). Luckily, filling the magnesium gap is simple with the right supplements.
Supplements are the most potent way to boost your magnesium levels. High doses of magnesium are required to properly treat high blood pressure. The major benefit of taking a magnesium supplement is that your body can absorb supplements more quickly.
Magnesium supplements can come in the form of pills or a spray. Pills slowly dissolve and are absorbed into the blood stream. Magnesium spray, however, will hit your system much faster providing almost immediate absorption into your bloodstream.
We recommend EASE Magnesium, because you have much more control over the doses since it's a spray, the magnesium gets absorbed extremely quickly since it's applied on your skin and it's very pure.
Magnesium Is One of the Best Supplements for High Blood Pressure
If you find yourself not ready to take on the side effects of chemical-heavy blood pressure medications, the benefits of taking a magnesium supplement could be just what you need to get your health back on track and prevent further conditions.
As with any vitamin regimen or diet change, always consult with your physician first to make sure that your body will not have an adverse reaction to these sudden changes.