One of the most prevalent health challenges I see in my patient population is high blood pressure. Patients don't come into my office specifically asking me for help with the chief complaint of hypertension. However, since I do a thorough health history, with current medical problems and family history, the topic of what can be done about it comes up. Many times the patient will as me what natural means could be implemented to help with getting to the cause of this common, potentially deadly health challenge.
There are several natural strategies can be employed to deal with the underlying causes of hypertension and many of the same helpful diet and lifestyle changes that help with patient who do come in with autoimmune issues, such as Hashimoto's, help with high blood pressure as well.
Here are some of the sobering statistics about high blood pressure:
- Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, leading causes of death in the United States. People of all ages and backgrounds can develop high blood pressure. Fortunately, it's mostly preventable.
67 million American adults (31%) have high blood pressure—that’s1 in every 3 American adults.
69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% of people who have a first stroke, and 74% of people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is also a major risk factor for kidney disease.
More than 348,000 American deaths in 2009 included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.
High blood pressure costs the nation $47.5 billion annually in direct medical expenses and$3.5 billion each year in lost productivity.
About half (47%) of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control.
Almost 30% of American adults have prehypertension—blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal, but not yet in the high blood pressure range. Prehypertension raises your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Here are a few dietary rules (ones you won't hear about in the popular press) to follow if you already have high blood pressure:
1. Stay away from High Fructose Corn Sweetener – it increases blood pressure through several mechanisms. It stimulates the sympathetic nervous system function (so it’s bad for anxiety patients too); reduces urinary sodium excretion (so it makes you retain water), increases uric acid which then reduces nitric oxide (heart patients need more nitric oxide as it helps dilate the blood vesses and red blood vessel inflammation). Dietary hint: Stay away from corn sweeteners and even high consumption of fruits that aren’t stone fruits (ones with center seeds like peaches and plums). Don’t drink fruit juice except pomegranate juice – drink 8oz of that each day.
2. Completely avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague! Talk about the most poisonous thing you could do to your body, all artificial sweeteners should be banned. Use stevia if you must but you’d be better with locally grown raw honey or maple syrup. I’d rather see a patient use some table sugar then artificial sweeteners.
3. PCBs (polychlorinated bipenyls), Heavy Metal Toxicities (especially exposure to mercury, cadmium, lead and iron), and other environmental toxicities such as pesticides and herbicides are very toxic to blood vessels. Most people don’t realize that iron supplements can be very toxic, especially if you are using an elemental form of iron like ferrous sulfate. It is similar to eating dirt. Also I found that almost no one knows that artificial colors contain heavy metals...it's what gives them their color. Lifestyle hint: Stop spraying (or even having sprayed by someone else) your lawn with toxic chemicals. Stop using toxic bug, bee, and insect sprays/repellants. Start buying natural products for your home including natural cleaning products, detergents, laundry soaps, etc. Use vinegar to clean; learn to read every label on everything! A great source for natural lawn, garden and household plant plant and pest products is Garden's Alive. I've been using their awesome products for years and they are in Lawenceburg, Indiana. Check them out at http://www.gardensalive.com
4. High blood glucose levels are an early warning sign to heart disease. Fasting blood sugar levels (taken right when you wake) should not exceed 100 and I like to see HbA1C levels at around 5.5 or less. Even if you are not diabetic yet, these elevated glucose levels raise insulin levels and damage your endothelium (the lining of your blood vessels) and your kidneys. Dietary hint: Start to limit carbohydrate intake. Even complex carbohydrates will still raise your blood sugar. I make every diabetic patient as well as all metabolic syndrome patient (fasting blood sugar 100-124) start counting carbs. You’ll be shocked at how many carbs (in grams) you consume every day. Try limiting yourself to first 75 grams per day (you can subtract out the grams of fiber) and then drop down to 50 grams per day. I don’t make patients add the carbs from whole vegetables but they must count those from potatoes (just eliminate white potatoes) and non-stone fruit.
Limiting toxic exposure to high fructose corn syrup, poisonous sweeteners, toxic chemicals, and too many carbohydrates will help you in many ways, other than reduction of blood pressure (including reducing autoimmune inducing triggers). It’s really just a good, sensible way to live.
For more details about the natural approach I take with my patients, take a look a the book I wrote entitled: Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide To Revealing Your Body's Life-Changing Secrets For Renewed Health. It is available in my office or at Amazon and many other book outlets.
If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with low thyroid symptoms or other chronic health challenges, despite receiving medical managment. Help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living! Thank you!
ALL THE BEST – DR. KARL R.O.S. JOHNSON, DC – DIGGING DEEPER TO FIND SOLUTIONS
Thanks and appreciation to many of the tips found in this article to one of my colleagues, Dr. Kevin Conners. He has written many helpful books including: http://www.beatchroniclyme.com/, http://www.stopfightingcancer.com/, http://www.immunebook.com/ and http://www.crazybrainbook.com/.
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