a close up of someone getting their blood pressure checked, blood pressure pill

Q. My blood pressure has steadily been rising during the last year. I’m 27, fit, slim and don’t eat junk food. The doctor says we need to watch my blood pressure and possibly treat it with medication. I’m quite averse to taking regular medicines.

I listen to your radio show and have read books and websites on the topic of blood pressure. What I’ve gleaned is reduce sodium and work out. I don’t use salt at the table or eat out and I rarely eat prepared foods.

Is there something natural that could lower my blood pressure so I won’t need a prescription drug?

A. It is unusual for someone who is young and fit to have hypertension, but it is not unheard of. There are several natural approaches that might be helpful including breathing exercises, magnesium supplements, beet juice, pomegranate, Concord grape juice and dark chocolate. All have been shown scientifically to lower blood pressure.

We are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment with details about these and other approaches to controlling hypertension.

Ask your doctor to check you for sleep apnea, a condition that can contribute to hypertension. Correcting it can sometimes lower blood pressure almost as much as medication (Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Oct. 15, 2012).

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  1. John

    These comments are really helpful. I would suggest adding your “replies” in each comment.

  2. DS

    Look into Resperate. You put an elastic band around your middle and plug in the earphones and listen to the music, which guides your breathing. It helps slow your breathing and relax you. I do not breathe rapidly in the first place, but it still helps lower my BP without drugs.

  3. Shirley

    Does drinking regular coffee increase blood pressure? My reading has always been 120/72. Now it’s 148/85. We have been drinking de-caf coffee for many years but I made it half-caf a few months ago. Now I wonder if the caffeine could be the problem. BUT my husband has developed early dementia which I thought might be helped by the caffeine. So I’m dealing with his condition and also the sudden death of my sister/best-friend a month ago. Guess I really should see the doctor. I’m 78 and in perfect health..work out 3 times a week, eat a very healthy diet and I’m slim and physically quite active.

  4. fbl

    My Pettibon Chiropractor learned a new technique over a year ago that involves manipulating C5. Half of his patients who were on blood pressure meds are now off them.
    I was not on meds but the treatment lowered mine as well. The meds did NOT agree with my body so this was a welcome reprieve. My BP is fine now.
    The irony of his leaning and using the technique is that it did NOT help his problem. He finally discovered he has a small cyst on his kidney and some hernias that needed repairing. He is doing fine now.

  5. Sara B.

    I had extremely low BP until an accident in which I broke 10 vertebrae. My BP has gone up since then, I think b/c of pain. I too would like to lower it without drugs, as I feel the Micardis is adding to my asthma issues.

  6. Dean

    With your doctor’s help determine the cause for increasing BP!!! In mid forties, I experienced rising BP. Doc put me on meds, didn’t investigate for cause. Just prior was very healthy with normal to low side normal BP. At the time was runner/cyclist/x-country skier and wellness advocate with good dietary habits. Months later, through an insurance exam signs of kidney disease were found. Immediately confirmed. It is an auto-immune issue. No cure. Except renal function end-point can be retarded with large quantities of DHA and RHA amino acids found in fish oil (medical school study – a story in itself). Point is: find out what’s causing your rise in BP!!!

  7. jallen

    The problem could be kidney disease. My son was overweight and did not eat properly. After losing over 100 pounds and a strict exercise routine, his blood pressure remained high despite medication adjustments. The doctor finally discovered polycystic kidney disease. Thought I would share this information with others as well.

  8. MB

    Some people get hbp from some stress related area like my niece-she has 5 pins in her cervical vertebrae due to an accident and her hbp was brought on by this. She takes medication.

  9. alan

    I was advised over a year ago that if I stopped taking amlodipine and my benazapril prescriptions that my BP would be uncontrollable.
    I then checked out a couple of places & as a result I’m now taking hawthorn extract & it’s controlled my BP very effectively.
    I advise anyone to research and get your best extract and dosage.

  10. Karen

    Re pain: Most NSAIDs raise BP.
    Re sugar: Most prepared foods with bar codes contain added sugar. Usually, when people say they gave up sugar, they mean getting very clear about not eating food out of boxes and (often) cutting back on the starchier vegetables, like potatoes.

  11. SG

    I would love to have any information on lowering my blood pressure because my health is deteriorating rapidly since being put on medications for that and pain (fibromyalgia and arthritis) after having both for 20 years. I really think this stuff is killing me, but if I stop taking the BP meds, I turn red and feel really badly. I have tried to do things naturally all my life but really need help with this. (Sorry about all the ‘really’s.)

  12. Cee

    Lise, can you please tell me if you stopped putting sugar in your food or do you mean all of the foods that you used were sugar free to begin with? I ask because most of the food that you buy contains some type of sugar.

  13. anna

    Please tell this 27 yr.old to have his arteries checked. I lost my son on 6-21-2012 who was in good health and used garlic to control his blood pressure. He died because the anterior inter-ventricular artery blocked greater than 95%. according to doctors and going online its the widow maker, the silent killer. Thank you.

  14. Lise

    My blood pressure was 145/90. When I got off sugar my blood pressure was reduced to 115/70.

  15. Andrew B.

    My health is good, however I do have friends with whom I will share this information that I believe will find it very helpful. I attended your live presentation in Charlotte NC and I am very impressed with your body of work, and I look forward to the information you share online.
    PS, I would like to add that the interview with Dr David Roper, who is in charge of the health program for the Universities of NC, was most informative, I would recommend it to anyone who wants a non-biased opinion of the upcoming National Health plan.

  16. Dale

    Some have found 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil per day a help–either direct from the spoon, as a spread on bread or on salad. It has not cured me but helps to lower significantly BP.

  17. Anon

    Consider that the cause of your rising blood pressure might not be related to or solvable by your diet. I am slim, very active, and vegetarian. My BP started rising inexplicably. A Doppler ultrasound revealed that I had fibromuscular dysplasia:
    Outpatient renal angioplasty (no stent) took care of it. I was extremely fortunate that it was diagnosed before kidney damage occurred.

  18. Dr. Judi

    You mentioned beet juice. Does beet soup, i. e. borsht, also lower blood pressure?

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