I was visiting the doctor for an entirely different reason when the title reading was done. I had no symptoms, not even a slight headache. Blood pressure that high is very dangerous no matter what the age and that reading meant something had to be done.

Stress : It was a high stress time in our family. In fact, it still is a high stress time our family. Stress levels can make this problem worse. One of the things we had to do is figure out how to combat the stress. I have since learned several techniques that help.

Herbs : There are a few herbs that can help in this fight. The one decided on was garlic. When I have a medical problem I discuss herbs with my doctor. He knows quite a bit and will listen. Even though I am a master herbalist the doctor plays a big role in handling medical problems.

Medication : It took a while to find the right combination. The first one was not strong enough. The second caused a serious allergic reaction. The third worked but needed a diuretic. Now my blood pressure is (finally) stable.

Weight : At the time I was extremely heavy. Part of the success has been dropping forty pounds. I could use another forty gone but it's going to be slower.

You may wonder why I'm telling you about this. My case is not unusual. In fact, a third of the people who have high blood pressure do not even know it. It takes either the doctor finding it like he did mine or a major medical problem caused by the readings for many to find out.

If you've been skipping the doctor's office due to cost, and many of us are doing that because of high deductibles, you may want to consider having your pressure checked. Many supermarkets and pharmacies have machines that test and there are other places that offer free screening. Do it regularly and you may be able to avoid something life threatening.