Part I—Understanding high blood pressure
Hypertension is the most common of cardiovascular diseases. It usually does not cause obvious symptoms. Long term high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, and chronic kidney disease. And it has become a threat to human health and one of the main reasons of death.
High blood pressure is classified as either primary (essential) high blood pressure or secondary high blood pressure. About 90–95% of cases are primary, defined as high blood pressure due to nonspecific lifestyle and genetic factors. Lifestyle factors that increase the risk can include excess salt, excess body weight, smoking, alcohol, and stress. The remaining 5–10% of cases are categorized as secondary high blood pressure, defined as high blood pressure due to an identifiable cause, such as chronic kidney disease, narrowing of the kidney arteries, an endocrine disorder, or the use of birth control pills.
Both TCM doctors and western doctors have invested a tremendous amount of manpower and resources to find answers for hypertension and certain solutions have been found. But you have to be wise and visionary to choose the right one. Western medications have a quick effect in responding to the symptoms of hypertension, but with unresolved headaches, dizziness, palpitations, tinnitus, insomnia, and other symptoms. Moreover, long-term medication will cause side effects on the liver and kidney functions or require you to increase your dose to maintain the effect.
Featuring treating the root cause of a disease instead of responding to symptoms, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a definite advantage in treating and curing hypertension. It has been discovered in TCM that kidney deficiency is the fundamental cause of hypertension disease. Correspondingly, the therapeutic principle of nourishing kidney-liver yin, warming kidney yang and the tonifying of kidney active blood was developed in curing it. Modern medical lab results and clinical trials have testified to the efficacy of the kidney therapeutic principle.
According to TCM, hypertension can be classified into 5 categories: Kidney deficiency syndrome, Liver Yang hyperactivity syndrome, Transformation of liver Yang into wind, Phlegmatic-damp syndrome and blood stasis syndrome. Each category has different common symptoms and corresponding treatment plans. We will discuss each in detail in our next blog.