Although it is common that most people believe that hypertension is a natural consequence of aging, research proves this not to be true. But that Hypertension that is Blood Pressure that is consistently high on a regular basis is actually the consequence from years of consuming a diet rich in saturated animal products, oils, refined sugars, processed foods, and salt. These foods play a major role in promoting diseased arteries, including unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, taking drugs and excessive alcohol consumption.
With this understanding that “High blood pressure is Not a Disease”, but a symptom of these diseased arteries. As cholesterol containing plaques begin to line the walls of the arteries, the arteries begin to narrow, stiffen, and lose their elasticity which causes a rise in pressure. Medications artificially treat the symptoms which gives the person being treated a false sense of security. in the meantime their disease continues to progress. By making changes with the foods that are you are eating, eliminating highly processed, fat and salt laden foods, eliminating negative habits such as smoking, drugs and excessive drinking. Making lifestyle changes such as including regular exercise, engage with positive friends who are health conscious. This gives your body the best possible chance to heal the arteries and with constant application of these healthy changes you will reverse the disease.
Optimal Health is Achieved with Understanding the Body’s Warning Signs & Treating the Hidden Causes!!!
Hypertension otherwise known as High Blood Pressure is one of these Signs
As a Naturopathic Practitioner I will share with you the facts of how High Blood Pressure is a Symptom of Underlying Health Issues
It is these underlying health issues that are causing the High Blood Pressure. Herein lies the fact that High Blood Pressure is “Not a Disease but a Sign of an Unhealthy Body.”
You may well be aware of the importance of dealing with the primary or base causes that link ill health to disease. You will find the information that I have presented here for you a vital support for you with either the treatment or prevention of High Blood Pressure.
Why Hypertension or High Blood Pressure has come to be Treated as a Disease!
Blood pressure is essentially a marker for your blood vessels . As to whether they are affected by inflammation, oxidative stress or insulin resistance. When blood pressure becomes elevated it is a result of chronic (long term) deep seated damage that has occurred to the endothelial tissue causing endothelial dysfunction. This is a lack of ability of the blood vessels to adequately dilate due to low nitric oxide levels, couple with structural changes and stiffening of the blood vessels from prolonged vascular inflammation. Or it can be as a result of short term circumstances or events that are occurring in our life at this particular time.
For people who are not on medication, the blood pressure reading is one of the best guides as to the severity of endothelial function. Therefore can be used as an effective marker of the improvement and progress when lifestyle changes, diet and other natural medicines are incorporated to restore healthy blood vessel function.
When anti-hypertensive medicines are used this provides a false reassurance as to the health status of the health of your vascular system. As the deterioration that is occurring due to the inflammation and oxidative stress will continue, becoming worse. This then leading to further hardening of the arteries, heart problems and other associated conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, kidney problems and so on.
Medications used such as beta-blocking agents, these block vasoconstrictive impulses: Other medications that are used act as diuretics. These work by reducing the intravascular volume, without having any direct action as to improve the actual function of endothelium. The endothelium modulates vasomotion (circulatory function), not only by release of blood and other vascular substances as well. This also includes the transport of other nutrients that are necessary for organ and tissue health.
How High Blood Pressure Medication is Hazardous to your Health
Evidence shows that manipulating such essential body functions with highly aggressive drugs comes at a steep cost. Researchers are finally exposing the dangers of HBP drugs, as follows:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Menstrual problems
- Heart palpitations
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
Consider the side effects of the 4 leading High Blood Pressure (HBP) Medication Drugs:
Also known as “water pills,” diuretics deplete the body’s energy, causing persistent fatigue, weakness, and cramping. Hearing loss, kidney problems, heart arrhythmias, and gout are also common. Diuretics also inhibit potassium, a proven natural resource for heart health. And diabetics should be cautious as diuretics can throw off blood sugar levels.
These work by slowing down the heart. But they can also cause chronic fatigue, depression, and asthma. And, according to Dr. Sheldon Sheps, an emeritus Mayo Clinic physician, weight gain is a highly common side effect. Unfortunately for men, beta blockers can also cause erectile dysfunction. A study in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences showed that men taking beta blockers had their s*e*xual activity plummet to half of what it was before going on the meds.
Aimed at relaxing the arteries, alpha blockers can cause blood pressure to nosedive, resulting in persistent weakness … extreme joint ache … diarrhea … and even anaemia. Certain alpha blockers cause nightmares and insomnia. Ohio University Professor, Dr. Richard Klabunde, author of Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts, writes that alpha blockers can also cause “dizziness … headaches … and excessive fluid retention.” And, like beta blockers, erectile dysfunction is common. It’s little wonder that 70% of men who experience side effects from HBP drugs simply stop taking them.
Similar to alpha blockers, vasodilators (which dilate blood vessel walls) can also lead to severe joint ache and pain. Vasodilators can also cause heart palpitations and headaches. Frequently, patients also experience excessive weight gain and unwanted hair growth.
So as you basically want to know how to prevent disease or further problems to your health you will not want me to go into all of the chemical co factors etc. but the bottom line is if we don’t treat and improve the underlying cause or damage that is occurring then this will lead to other health problems such as arteriosclerosis, kidney disease, mature onset diabetes and so on.
Effective Treatment to Improve your High Blood Pressure & your Health!
So the treatment of Blood pressure is definitely in the forte of Natural medicine. As it is a condition of chronic endothelial dysfunction, possible various treatments for inflammation, oxidative stress (Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.) So the body becomes extremely toxic to the point that it is unable to detoxify these harmful substances from our body, so because of this extreme imbalance of toxicity damage is occurring at cellular level, each organ is made up of billions of cells, when we live a healthy life cells are renewed and replenished on a regular basis, to some extent with age this slows down, but will still keep functioning when we are having a healthy lifestyle. If not then this cellular damage becomes so great that these organs begin to fail us, this is where we then find out that we have type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease etc. Unfortunately medicines may give short term results as mentioned however because the core underlying factors are not being addressed, as well as further damage that may be caused from the prolonged use of the specific medications this will lead to as mentioned other health issues and problems.
So now that we have given you the bad news let’s look at what can be done to restore balance and improve endothelial function: Hypertension is a result of an imbalance between nitric oxide and angiotensin 11
Blood pressure fluctuates all the time, hour-by-hour, and day-by-day, and there has been extensive over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment of millions of people because of this.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for blood pressure to rise simply in response to a doctor’s visit! This is called the “white coat syndrome” and I’ve seen it repeatedly.
On the other hand, bona fide hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a well-known risk factor for heart attack. Twenty percent or more of women between the ages of forty-five and sixty-four have mild to severe high blood pressure. Since current statistics show that 1 in 2 women will eventually die from heart disease (either a heart attack caused by coronary artery disease, or a stroke,) it makes sense to know what your blood pressure is and how you can take control of it.
What is High Blood Pressure and Are You At Risk?
High blood pressure occurs when your arteries cannot dilate properly to accommodate changes in blood flow being pumped from your heart.
It generally takes many years to develop, and usually you will not have any symptoms. In fact, most people discover they have high blood pressure when they go for a medical check-up. Many factors are believed to contribute to hypertension.
These include: Diet too high in saturated fat, salt, alcohol or caffeine Age, gender, ethnicity, and family history Underlying disease or condition (obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, pregnancy, kidney disease or hyperthyroidism) Smoking Medications (antidepressants, NSAIDs and decongestants) Lack of exercise Stress (including unconscious fear and panic from childhood trauma)
Lead poisoning Head injuries Illicit drugs (cocaine and amphetamines) Many of these causes are temporary and curable.
So what should your readings be? For years doctors have been uncertain what the optimal blood pressure goal should be. For people with high blood pressure, the goal has been to lower systolic (top number) pressure to about 140-150 for people over 60 years old. The new 2015 blood pressure guidelines support this more relaxed threshold calling for treatment to lower blood pressure to 150/90 mm Hg for people over age 60, and to 140/90 for adults younger than 60.
Yet, a newer study called Sprint, which was supposed to end in 2017, has been concluded early with findings that suggest a systolic pressure below 120 reduces risks for heart attack and strokes by up to 1/3 and risk of death by up to ¼.
What You Can Do!
So let’s start with Exercise: Exercise is one of the best ways to boost nitric oxide levels, through the induction of eNOS activation. It also improves nitric oxide storage capabilities over the long term. So exercise has benefits right throughout the vascular system, as well as a direct cardio protective action against future ischaemic issues.
Weight Management: is vitally important when it comes to cardiovascular health. Being overweight will have a direct effect on your health in general as you have cellular damage as well as extra workload placed on your organs. So weight reduction is vitally important for managing healthy blood pressure. Fat loss is one of the most effective ways to reduce blood pressure quickly. So reducing or eliminating all together any type of animal fat this also includes dairy products. However do not go for fat reduced, just eliminate it from your diet for long term health results. Adipose tissue is known to be an important source of inflammation, driving vascular dysfunction and also has significant effects of vasoconstriction, increasing oxidative stress, vascular immune dysfunction and thrombosis. By implementing changes to your daily eating such as shown in my blog “Alkalize your Body for Optimal Health”.
Diet: becoming mindful nutrition of what you are eating incorporating a diet that will stand you in good stead for a lifetime is the very first and most important foundational step to addressing not only your hypertension problems, it will also support and prevent other health problems from occurring. Lowering carbohydrate intake and increasing healthy protein intake has been associated with the lowering of blood pressure. It has also been noted that by including 40 grams of #Soy protein per day has had significant effects of the reductions of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
#Salt and Sugar play a significant role in being a causative factor in increasing blood pressure, so by decreasing your consumption of salt and sugar will have significant effects on improving your blood pressure results. Easy steps here to reduce these in your diet is to eliminate processed foods, sauces – cooking from fresh whole produce, not adding salt or sugar to your meals, eliminate cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, flavoured milk drinks and fast foods.
Core Nutrients for Hypertension Prevention and Support that YOU can put into place on a Daily Basis are:
# Magnesium: High magnesium foods include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, and dark chocolate
#Resveratrol: good sources of resveratrol: Red Grapes, peanut butter, dark chocolate, blueberries, also the herb bilberry
#CoQ10: Nuts, Seeds and Oil high in CoQ10. Peanuts are one of the heartiest plant sources of the substance. An ounce of roasted peanuts has 0.8 milligrams. Sesame seeds aren’t too far behind, providing 0.7 milligram from 1 ounce. If pistachio nuts are your go-to snack, you’ll get 0.6 milligrams of coenzyme Q-10 per ounce. You can get as much as 1.3 milligrams of coenzyme Q-10 from 1 tablespoon of soybean oil, or around 1 milligram from a tablespoon of canola
Fruits and vegetables add a bit more coenzyme Q-10 to your diet. A medium-size orange contains 0.3 milligram of the nutrient, while 1 cup of raw strawberries can provide as much as 0.2 milligram. Broccoli and cauliflower further up your coenzyme Q-10 intake. One-half cup of steamed broccoli gives you 0.5 milligram of coenzyme Q-10, while the same amount of cooked cauliflower provides 0.4 milligram.
Beef and Poultry: Beef and chicken are some of the richest sources of coenzyme Q-10. A 3-ounce cooked serving of beef, which is roughly the size of a deck of cards, contains approximately 2.6 milligrams of the nutrient. A similarly sized portion of chicken has about half that amount — roughly 1.4 milligrams of coenzyme Q-10. You’ll even get a small amount of coenzyme Q-10 from an egg. A medium hardboiled egg offers 0.1 milligram.
Fatty Fish Because coenzyme Q-10 is fat soluble, requiring fat for absorption and storage, generally the more fat in the fish you prefer, the more coenzyme Q-10 you’ll get. Opt for fatty cold-water fish like salmon, tuna and herring. Three ounces of cooked herring, for example, has 2.3 milligrams. A less fatty variety, such as rainbow trout, has closer to 0.9 milligram of coenzyme Q-10, from a 3-ounce steamed serving.
Managing Stress: Stress plays a significant contributing factor in the role of hypertension. This is where herbal medicine plays an important role in supporting the body with stress and anxiety. Herbs can also be included to reduce oxidative stress as well as supporting heart and circulatory function. Implementing improved lifestyle techniques for the reduction of stress such as meditation, giving up negative habits such as smoking, reduction or elimination of either prescribed or over the counter medication. This can all be supported with your Naturopathic treatments such as counselling, massage and working with any other health care providers and treatments.
Meditation: Meditation allows us to know our very inner core the infinity that lies deep within us. This is where all feels peaceful, happy, pure bliss and in harmony. It is to be in tune with the fact that there is more to you than an external being something that just moves through life without meaning or purpose. Meditation is nothing to do with religion or dominance. It is about embracing the inner you, your true power within so as to bring about a life of purpose and meaning. It is tapping into your own unique power and control system.
Massage: As part of your healthy program including regular massages, especially where there is a combination of mind, body balancing along with cognitive counselling and support is absolutely beneficial has a calming effect on the autonomic nervous system. This can produce the long-term benefit of lowing blood pressure to a healthy range, also helps with balancing all of your body systems. Both meditation and massage can also help by releasing suppressed emotions allowing or body to heal.
Identified Heart and Vascular Disease: So if you have already had a heart attack or have been on blood pressure medication, the big question you might ask is it too late to implement these changes and can Naturopathic medicine be of help. Improving your lifestyle and implementing dietary changes are definitely going to bring about improvement. I might like to just say that of course they will be slower and to what degree how much your condition can be reversed will depend on the amount of cellular damage. I have worked throughout my career supporting people with their medical treatments and some have been able to come off their medication working in conjunction with their medical doctor monitoring their progress, in many cases the medications have at least been able to be reduced. This is I must mention though continual work between you, your Doctor, Specialist and Your Naturopathic practitioner.
Read Next: Are you at Risk of a Heart Attack: Risk Factors and Steps to Building a Healthy Heart
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