Pediatric Hypertension and How to Treat It
We never had to worry about kiddos with high blood pressure. Unfortunately today, the same 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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Content Created: 05/14