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Alternative Treatments of Hypertension in African Americans, Article Review Example

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Article Review

Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure results from development of high tension in person’s arteries is a significant concern among majority people and its treatment among African Americans is the major concern of this paper. African Americans have higher chances of developing hypertension as compared to the white Americans which has been document to be in the range of 50 – 100 % based on data from surveys (Abgrall-Barbry & Consoli, 2006). African Americans are exposed to a much difficult situation in trying to control the situation and the death rates resulting from the complication is much higher Hypertension is a clinical condition that most professionals in health care encounter with above 50 million people in America suffering from the condition. Although doctors are aware of the actual causes of the condition, they attribute it to a lifestyle disease and associate it to people in developing countries.  A natural combination of holistic health and hypertension exists calling for traditional support and alternative medication to control the situation.

In health care, several drugs are recommended to control the level of hypertension and occasionally people are exposed to limited alternatives other that the drugs. Following keenly the recommendations of the physician are recommended to achieve good results. However, the recommended drugs are associated with some side effects such as depression, feelings of fatigue and male impotence among others. The recommendations of the drugs are based on the severity of the condition.

Abgrall-Barbry & Consoli, (2006) have noted that, the use of medications among the African Americans to treat the condition is not one of the best solutions. This is attributed from the fact majority of the victims have expressed deep concerns to the side effects that are associated with their use. During the treatment of hypertension the goal is towards reducing serious complications such as heart diseases along with stroke, which is achieved through controlling the level of blood pressure (Abgrall-Barbry & Consoli, 2006).

Abgrall-Barbry & Consoli, (2006) asserts that, among the African Americans, it is recommended that DASH approach (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), be given a priority. In this case, the recommended types of foods include fruits, whole grain, vegetables and dairy products that have a low fat content. These clases of foods are also recommended for the  African Americans at a higher risk of developing hypertension (Abgrall-Barbry & Consoli, 2006).

Sorof, ET al. (2004) has recommended the use of measures of holistic health care as a potential solution towards controlling the condition among the African Americans. They argue that this is an approach that is likely to cut down the use of medication and consequently reducing the side effects associated with it. However, this does not imply totally abandoning the prescribed medication. Consultation with the physician is vital to guide on a potential holistic approach that will supplement medication and consequently reducing it (Sorof, et al., (2004)

Sorof, et al. (2004) has suggested potential approaches under holistic intervention. Changing of diet leads to reduction of weight of the victim among the African Americans. He also suggests consideration of vegetarian diet since this is associated with insignificant symptoms of high blood pressure. Vegetables can be used with complex carbohydrates while at the same time sodium intake are kept at minimum. Sorof, et al. (2004) also suggests more intake of celery although he cautions that excessive intake may be toxic (Sorof, et al. 2004). Addition of fiber to the diet is also recommended. Elimination of alcohol, tobacco and fat intake has also been suggested by Gary, (2007) as a possible mitigation to the disease. Gary, (2007) also suggests the importance of physical activities as a potential remedy. This may be complemented with the addition of meditation and also yoga in the daily routine of the victim (Gary, 2007).

Gary, (2007) has noted that the intake of alcohol and smoking among the African Americans are significant risk factors with regard to hypertension. The implication of risk factors is all the conditions that may contribute to the proliferation and development of hypertension. It is important to consider changing and reducing the risk factors while looking for alternative treatment. It is impossible to change or control some risk factors. The unaltered cases include the inherited tendency of developing hypertension by children. In such a situation, the children at risk may work with physicians for managing the risk factors (Gary, 2007).

Gary, (2007) has also documented other risk factors that are associated with hypertension among the African Americans. They include obesity, heredity, consumption of foods high in sugars, salt and fat, limited or no physical activities, male sex, diabetes, race, oral contraceptives, kidney diseases and congenital conditions (Gary, 2007). Gary, (2007) advocates for lifestyle changes such as active involvement in physical exercise and change of diet as a potential alternative treatment to hypertension. Management of stress as well as anxiety coupled with reduction of consumption of alcohol and smoking also offers lasing solution in the management and control of hypertension (Gary, 2007).

Linden & Moseley (2006) have researched on the importance of maintaining body weight to healthy levels among the African Americans. Obese and hypertension children are encouraged to implement strategies of loosing weight up to 15% level. Loosing the body weight by a small margin results to tremendous results in managing cases of hypertension (Linden & Moseley 2006).  This goal is achievable with the use of physical activities and a drastic reduction of sedentary activities. Parents should discourage video games playing and watching televisions among their children

According to Abgrall-Barbry & Consoli, (2006), the use of acupuncture for the purposes of treating hypertension has been found to have relatively mild effects. Lowering the blood pressure though   acupuncture has no side effects and discomforts and it offers a long term solution (Abgrall-Barbry & Consoli, 2006).

Ernst, (2005) on the other hand has proposed the use of biofeedback as an alternative treatment of hypertension among the African Americans. The use of biofeedback if properly implemented reduces the levels of medications in most patients and no adverse side effects are encountered. Much time and concentration of the technician is required for this approach and therefore predicting the most suitable patients for this approach is an important consideration among the technicians. Biofeedback may be used along with relaxation to offer remedies to other complications such as headaches, stress and muscle tension (Ernst, 2005).

McNamara, (2003) has argued in favor of hypnosis. Although this is an archaic approach of treating cases of hypertension, its effectiveness is recognized to date among the African Americans and it has been applicable in changing behaviors and habits that are considered to be unfavorable (McNamara, 2003). The use hypnosis in combination to biofeedback significantly reduces the level of blood pressure within a period of one month of treatment

References

Abgrall-Barbry, G. & Consoli, .S.M., (2006).  Psychological approaches in hypertension management. Presse Med. Jun; 35, 1088-94.

Ernst, E., (2005). Complementary/alternative medicine for hypertension: a mini-review. Wien Med Wochenschr. Sep; 155 (17-18):386-91.

Gary, E. R., (2007).  The impact of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on hypertension: alternative analgesics for the patients at risk Clinical Therapeutics, Volume 20, Issue 3, Pages 376-387

Linden, W. & Moseley, J.V. (2006).  The efficacy of behavioral treatments for hypertension. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Mar;31(1):51-63.

McNamara, D., (2003). “Obesity Behind Rise in Incidence of Primary Hypertension.” Family Practice News (April 1, 2003): 45–51.

Sorof, J. M., et al. (2004). “Cardiovascular risk factors and sequel in hypertensive children identified by referral versus school-based screening.” Hypertension 43 (2004): 214.

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