Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
We never had to worry about kiddos with high blood pressure. Unfortunately, today the risk factors for adult hypertension are the same for kids: obesity, sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, and genetic susceptibility.
What is Pediatric Hypertension?
According the the Mayo Clinic:
- Hypertension is defined as average systolic blood pressure (SBP) and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) that is greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for sex, age, and height on three or more occasions.
- Prehypertension in children is defined as average SBP or DBP levels that are greater than or equal to the 90th percentile, but less than the 95th percentile.
- As with adults, adolescents with BP levels greater than or equal to 120/80 mmHg should be considered prehypertensive.
- A patient with BP levels above the 95th percentile in a physician’s office or clinic, who is normotensive outside a clinical setting, has white-coat hypertension. Ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) is usually required to make this diagnosis.
Conventional Medical Treatment
National Institutes of Health (NIH)-
Commonly Prescribed Medications
(please see NIH paper above for common dosages/age):
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor
Alpha and Beta- blocker
Calcium channel blocker
- Extended-release nifedipine
Naturopathic Medical Treatment Options
(may be used in conjunction with conventional options and/or used alone)
- fruits and vegetables (dirty dozen/clean 15), whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats
- remove excess salt, sugar and unhealthy fats from the diet
- fiber – psyllium husk, oats
Exercise (for weight related hypertension)
- PLAY, PLAY, PLAY
- engage in sport activities
- exercise should be FUN, please get creative for your child
- 30-60 minutes per day
Vitamins and Supplements
- Fish Oil- EPA + DHA = 1-2 grams per day with food
- Magnesium 200-400 mg daily
- Arginine 1-2 grams daily (do NOT give if child is taking an ACE inhibitor)
- Sleep- 9-12 hours sleep per night (age dependent)
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- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General. 2001.
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Content Created: 05/14