Hypertension Specialist

Integral Natural Medicine

Shaun LaChute, ND, BCB

Naturopathic Physician located in Bellevue, WA

Hypertension has few, if any, outward symptoms, but causes damage to internal organs, endangers your heart health, and raises your risk of stroke. Diet and lifestyle play a significant role in whether or not you develop hypertension. Dr. Shaun “Skye” LaChute of Integral Natural Medicine in Bellevue, Washington, can help with managing hypertension. She’ll offer guidance for your diet, prescribe supplements, and teach you how to handle stress in ways that help keep your blood pressure under control.

Hypertension Q & A

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is high blood pressure. When your blood flows through your arteries, it exerts a certain amount of pressure. When this pressure is too high, it puts extra stress on the artery walls.

Approximately 85 million Americans have hypertension, and nearly 1 out of 6 don’t even know it. Until it’s progressed to extreme levels, you won’t feel outward symptoms, but over time it increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, vision problems, and kidney disease.

What causes hypertension?

Sometimes, hypertension can be a side effect of certain medications or adrenal disease, but the vast majority of cases occur for no clear reason. Usually diet and lifestyle are at least partly to blame. Some people may be more genetically prone to developing high blood pressure, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed, because Dr. Skye can help you reduce your risk.

What methods does Dr. Skye use to evaluate hypertension?

A lot of people with hypertension have a cluster of lifestyle issues that may contribute to not only high blood pressure, but cardiovascular disease, too. Dr. Skye will take a health history and ask you questions about your lifestyle habits, such as diet, exercise, and smoking and drinking habits.

She will assess your stress level and stress management skills, because stress can be a significant contributor to blood pressure issues. One way she does this is through biofeedback testing, which involves monitoring how you physically react to physical, mental, and emotional stressors. Your blood pressure, as well as skin temperature, heart rate, and breathing patterns are measured and evaluated. Then she’ll offer mind-body practices such as breathing techniques, meditation, and guided visualization to help you manage stressful situations more healthfully.

How can naturopathic medicine help with hypertension?

In addition to suggesting lifestyle modifications, Dr. Skye may prescribe natural supplements and herbal medication that will have a positive effect on your blood pressure. She can also do testing to see if your adrenal glands are overstressed, which means they’d be pumping out too much of the hormone cortisol in response to chronic stress.

She can also guide you about making dietary changes that may help ease your blood pressure. This includes choosing more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables and fewer high-sodium and sugar-heavy foods. If you drink alcohol, Dr. Skye will make recommendations about managing your consumption and quitting any tobacco use.