Natural Treatment for Isolated Systolic Hypertension
Isolated systolic hypertension, or ISH, is a condition in which only the top number of a patient’s blood pressure is too high. According to the Mayo Clinic, a patient is considered to have ISH if the diastolic number (bottom number) is less than 90 and the systolic number (top number) is more than 140. Without treatment, ISH can lead to serious conditions such as stroke, heart attack, dementia, kidney disease and blindness. Some natural treatments can be started at home to both prevent and remedy this condition.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
One of the best ways to prevent or treat high blood pressure is to maintain a healthy diet. ISH responds well to this treatment, as it helps to restore natural balance to the blood pressure rather than drastically altering it as a medication would. Patients should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as the daily recommended amount of potassium while limiting foods that are high in fat, cholesterol, salt and caffeine.
Increase Physical Activity
Aerobic activity is a natural way to lower the body’s blood pressure. With regular exercise, the heart will grow stronger and be able to function with less effort. The Mayo Clinic reports that regular exercise can lower the systolic number by an average of 5 to 10 percent, which is comparable to many blood pressure medications. In some cases, regular exercise is all you need to overcome ISH.
Usually, those who adopt a healthier diet and regular exercise routine will see some weight loss results. Being overweight often leads to high blood pressure, so it important to stay trim and fit. Losing just a few pounds can sometimes make a positive difference in your systolic number.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Small amounts of alcohol can help to decrease the blood pressure. However, drinking too much alcohol can have the reverse effect. According to the Mayo Clinic, more than one alcoholic drink a day can increase a woman’s blood pressure, while more than two drinks can do the same for a man. Heavy drinkers should cut back on alcohol consumption gradually. Going “cold turkey” can spike a heavy drinker’s blood pressure even more.
Avoid Tobacco Products
Nicotine can increase a person’s blood pressure by constricting the blood vessels. This effect can last for up to an hour after smoking. Smoking is bad for your body’s overall health, but those who suffer from ISH will have an increased risk of complications. Even secondhand smoke can prove dangerous to your health, so it is best to avoid both direct and indirect contact with tobacco products.