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High Blood Pressure (cont.)

Other Therapy for High Blood Pressure

Alternative therapies may be helpful to people trying to control their blood pressure.

  • Acupuncture and biofeedback are well-accepted alternative techniques that may help some people with high blood pressure.
  • Techniques that induce relaxation and reduce stress are recommended. These include meditation, yoga, and relaxation training.
  • These techniques alone may not control high blood pressure for many people. They should not be used as a substitute for medical therapy without first consulting with your health care practitioner.

Dietary supplements and alternative medications and therapies are sometimes recommended for high blood pressure.

  • Examples include vitamins, garlic, fish oil, L-arginine, soy, coenzyme Q10, herbs, phytosterols, and chelation therapy.
  • While these substances may be beneficial, the exact nature of their benefits is not known.
  • Scientific studies have produced no evidence that these therapies lower blood pressure or prevent the complications of high blood pressure.
  • Most of these substances are harmless if taken in moderate doses. Most people can take them without problems.
  • Talk to your health care practitioner if you are considering any of these treatments. Substituting these therapies for medical therapies that have been shown to lower blood pressure and the risk of complications may have a harmful effect on your health.

Follow-up for High Blood Pressure

The most important element in the management of high blood pressure is follow-up care.

  • Routine blood pressure check-ups are important to monitor readings and decide upon a treatment plan.
  • With age and the natural progression of hardening of the arteries, systolic blood pressure may elevate over time. A treatment that once worked well may no longer work as well and your medication treatment may need to be changed.
  • Routine physical exams and screening blood tests may be suggested to help monitor the success of blood pressure management.
  • Follow-up visits are a good time to discuss with your health care practitioner any medication side effects you are experiencing. He or she will have suggestions for managing side effects or may change your treatment.
  • Follow-up visits are a great opportunity for monitoring for other associated risk factors, such as high cholesterol, smoking cessation, and obesity.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/30/2017

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