Hypertension directly threatens quality of life. It is a major contributor to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. In the past two decades, domestic and foreign academics have agreed on various standards in the treatment of hypertension, and considerable progress has been made in the field of antihypertensive drugs. Oral antihypertensive drugs represent a milestone in hypertension therapy. However, the blood pressure standard for patients with hypertension is far from satisfactory.
Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events are the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Hypertension, a chronic disease in which blood pressure (BP) in the arteries is elevated, is a major contributor to vascular morbidity and mortality. Patients with hypertension are more likely to have peripheral heart, brain, kidney, and vascular disease than those with normal BP. Strong evidence from randomised trials shows that the treatment of hypertension is remarkably effective, and a small reduction in BP could cause a large reduction in the risk of cerebrovascular events and myocardial infarction.
Maintaining an active lifestyle, improving diet, controlling total caloric intake and practicing adequate exercise have a fundamental role in the treatment of hypertension. Therapeutic strategies are based on the followingprinciples:
- Early intervention includes prevention and treatment of prehypertension. In addition, the goal of therapy has changed from “the lower, the better” to “the sooner, the better.” This proverb promotes interventions to internal organs that are not affected by the ongoing morbidity process and can be compared to avoiding target organ damage (ODD) due to sustained high blood pressure.
- Treatment focuses on risk factors and includes optimal antihypertensive strategies, such as antihypertensive therapy combined with lipid-lowering therapy.
- The therapeutic target shifts from the simple goal of reducing BP to improving the complications associated with TOD to reducing the long-term risk of CVD, thus achieving an ideal BP.
- Treatment emphasizes effective BP control, especially with respect to reducing BP variability (BP).
The occurrence of hypertension is mainly attributed to hepatic yang hyperactivity, as well as yin deficiency and yang hyperactivity, and the treatment of hypertension most often involves reinforcing the deficiency, calming the liver and eliminating blood stasis.
Recent studies have shown that several syndromes are highly correlated with BPV. Hepatic fire syndrome (Gan huo shang yan)/liver-yang hyperactivity (Gan yang shang kang) and phlegmatic fluid retention syndrome (tan zhuo neizu), are two main types of hypertension discussed in TCM. Compared to patients suffering from hepatic fire/liver-yang hyperactivity syndrome, patients with phlegmatic fluid retention syndrome have more significant circadian reductions in BP day-night and increases in BP overload. In addition, it could easily injure the target organs. Chinese herbal formulas to treat hepatic fire/liver-yang hyperactivity syndrome and phlegm-liquid retention syndromes, such as Qingxuanjiangya decoction, Niuhuangjiangya Pill, songlingxuemaikang capsule, and Banxia baizhu tianma decoction, can reduce BV, control BP, and improve clinical symptoms both in vitro and in vivo.
Hypertensive kidney injury is another important TOD. Long-term hypertension can cause renal sclerosis and gradually progress to chronic kidney failure. Positive control of hypertension is the key to preventing hypertensive kidney damage. According to recent studies, hypertensive kidney injury is strongly related to fluid, phlegm and moisture retention syndrome and liver-yang hyperactivity syndrome, which are caused by deficiency syndrome.
High blood pressure can be treated both through TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) tuina and acupuncture treatment by stimulating the corresponding acupressure points. In addition to that, it is also very important to go for a regular health checkup and maintain a healthy lifestyle.