High Blood Pressure: Before We Diagnose Essential Hypertension, Should We Be Doing More Tests?

High blood pressure is complicated and affects so many of us during our lifetimes. There are many reasons why blood pressure may have increased. Some causes are termed “secondary,” as in due to another problem like kidney or lung disease. Sometimes we call high blood pressure “essential” or “idiopathic,” which really means we are not sure why it is happening.

Conventional medicine often simplifies the subject of essential hypertension by diagnosing high blood pressure and treating with a medication without any further workup. It might not be until you start a fourth(!) medication to lower your blood pressure that they find out there actually is a cause for the high blood pressure that can be treated. 

I like to take a slightly different approach. 

As a naturopathic doctor, I am always thinking about the whole person when there is imbalance or dis-ease. For example, are there diet and lifestyle changes that might help my patient? Are hormones in balance? Is inflammation under control? Etc. When it comes to blood pressure, it is possible that a hormonal imbalance is causing your blood pressure to increase. Before we walk down the path of multiple medications and throwing up our hands saying “I just don’t know why this is happening,” I like to run some simple blood tests. If you would like to take a deeper look at your health, come see us.

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