Functional Medicine Options for High Blood Pressure

A criticism long lobbed at traditional medicine is that it medicates or masks symptoms of health conditions but doesn’t go deeper to find the source of your problem or discomfort. 

Functional medicine is an exciting treatment approach that digs deep into your health issue, both by considering how lifestyle and other factors influence your health and by searching for a root cause. It also emphasizes preventive care. 

If you’re one of the 108 million Americans with high blood pressure (almost half of all adults), functional medicine treatment can treat your symptoms and significantly cut your risk for future serious health crises, like heart attack and stroke. 

Dr. Russell Bartels and Dr. Burt Webb treat patients in Scottsdale, Arizona, with many conditions using this holistic framework that invites you, the patient, into a more active partnership with us. We also have an outstanding functional medicine practitioner on staff, Janis Rustad, RN, MN, FNP-C. VitalityMDs takes pride in making an impact on your physical health, mental health, and longevity. 

The implications of high blood pressure are serious

First, it’s important to understand what blood pressure is, what’s considered hypertension (the standards have changed recently), and that many people affected by it aren’t even aware they have it. 

Blood pressure simply describes the force at which your blood is moving through your blood vessels and pushing against their walls as it flows. 

When we measure your blood pressure, we use two numbers: Systolic blood pressure is the larger upper number of your reading and represents its high point, when your heart is beating, while diastolic blood pressure is the lower number that illustrates what your blood pressure is between heartbeats when blood pressure is typically not as high. 

Prior to 2017, the highest blood pressure reading considered normal for those under 65 was 140/90 or under, and 150/80 or under for individuals 65 and older. 

Four years ago, a cluster of health organizations — including the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association, and the American College of Cardiology — redefined high blood pressure for all adults, regardless of age. The “new normal” reading is 120/80 or below.

In an instant, many who hadn’t had high blood pressure suddenly did.

The considerable health dangers of high blood pressure

We noted that hypertension is linked to the two biggest killers of Americans, heart disease and stroke. But it contributes to other health problems, too:

Frighteningly, high blood pressure is often referred to as a “silent” disease, meaning you may not experience any symptoms, despite having hypertension. 

Hypertension: A functional medicine approach

You’re in good hands at VitalityMDs if you experience high blood pressure. 

The traditional medicine approach often centers around prescription medication and keeping track of your blood pressure with at-home blood pressure monitoring. But if you have alarmingly high blood pressure, you need to do more than simply observe it. 

We, on the other hand, look to the “why” of your high blood pressure, which can be fueled by:

It’s not a coincidence that people with high blood pressure are also often overweight, living with high cholesterol, and lack energy. By steering clear of a medication-based approach that addresses only your high blood pressure, we think carefully about all the other overlapping contributors that may even seem disconnected from your blood pressure. 

By offering weight loss services, help with becoming active — a special challenge after the COVID-19 pandemic — and real-life solutions for taming stress, you can get to a place where your blood pressure is well-controlled for the long term.

Are you also aware that air pollution and high blood pressure might have a connection? According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, older patients showed that being exposed to lower amounts of particulates in the air led to lower blood pressure readings. Introducing air filtration systems improved their readings, too.

We leave no stone unturned when it comes to discovering the triggers of your hypertension. Our customized treatment plan is based on your condition, blood pressure history, and lifestyle. 

Call our office today to schedule an appointment for blood pressure treatment backed by functional medicine or book one online

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