“If you don’t know your blood pressure, it’s like not knowing the value of your company.” Mehmet Oz
There is a silent killer inside many of us.
Are you staying safe?
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is relatively symptom-free until some severe damage is done. This is why it’s referred to as the silent killer. Hypertension creates excess pressure against your arterial walls and, left unresolved, stiffens these arteries, starting damage that leads to serious health problems.
People with untreated and chronic hypertension will often experience heart disease, kidney failure, vision loss, and/or dementia. The heart, brain, and kidneys require steady volumes of blood to function properly, but hypertension delivers too much pressure downstream at the tiny arterioles and capillaries, causing thickened and stiffened vessel walls. This limited blood flow prohibits the necessary volume to maintain healthy organ function.
What are the treatment options?
Prescription blood pressure medications come with various unwanted side effects and can sometimes cause more harm than good. Beta-blockers can cause fatigue, depression, higher blood sugars, and erectile dysfunction. Diuretics cause electrolyte imbalances. Even my favorite BP meds, Ace-Inhibitors and ARBs, can still cause edema or a dry nagging cough.
Are there other options?
Yes. Reverse the underlying causes!
There are 3 prime medical conditions that are well-known to be the root cause of hypertension, and you deserve to be tested and treated for these. There are also many lifestyle habits that can be adopted to improve heart and vessel strength, while lowering overall blood pressure.
Below are the top 3 REVERSIBLE causes of hypertension…..and 7 lifestyle tips to master.
- Toxic heavy metals: Yes, metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium poison us in hundreds of ways, including damaging our kidneys and raising BP. In fact, a 2003 study in JAMA showed that the heavy metal of lead, leaking out of women’s bones (as they start to get osteoporosis), is a leading cause of hypertension in postmenopausal women. However, doctors rarely test for metals, and indeed, testing for total body burden is problematic. Unfortunately, the most common tests (blood/serum and hair analysis) only tell if there are recent or ongoing exposures. The only truly sensitive test is a urine collection, not just random but after provocation with a binding agent. This test, called a Chelation Challenge, is like a biochemical biopsy of the body, and it shows our total lifelong accumulation. Treatment can lower these levels.
- Sleep Apnea: Snoring is not just good for a joke. It may become obstructive sleep apnea, a very common disorder that goes largely undiagnosed…and leads to many chronic and preventable health issues, including high blood pressure. The first step is to just test – remember, you don’t know you have it, because it only happens when you are asleep (so you are not there to observe it). For testing, you can get a sleep study for $1,500 at a sleep center, or do a $35 overnight pulse oximeter in your own bed. Ask us for details!
- Weight: No, wait. Really. Just Dropping 10 pounds can make a significant difference in your blood pressure and overall health, greatly reducing your risk for many preventable diseases. Larger body mass strains and stretches blood vessels to keep up with supplying adequate blood volume to all areas of the body. By reducing overall body mass, you reduce the overall pressure needed to maintain blood supply. If you experience difficulty losing weight, ask us about our weight control program.
- Replace Coffee with Green Tea – Along with other conditions, chronic stress contributes to elevated blood pressure and vascular constriction. Add to that the daily consumption (often in excess for most Americans) of coffee, and you have high cortisol levels, causing a vicious cycle with high blood pressure and sleep issues. Enter Green Tea. For centuries, green tea has been enjoyed in both social and medicinal circles. It contains a powerful amino acid called L-theanine which helps protect the brain from stress and memory deficits. It also calms the sympathetic nervous system, reducing the fight-or-flight stress response, which helps reduce blood pressure and promote restful sleep.
- Meditation – Mindfulness meditation relaxes the brain and resting heart rate, while also increasing oxygenation of the blood through deep breathing. It’s also known to reduce anxiety and stress…which supports a healthy blood pressure. Combined with other lifestyle choices, meditation is a powerful ally for rebalancing the mind, body, and blood vessels.
- Eat Potassium–rich foods – Potassium is a vital mineral that helps the body manage salt balance – which has a direct affect on blood volume and pressure. While adding more potassium-rich foods into your diet (like fish, apricots, avocados, sweet potatoes, and spinach) you can also dump some of the snacks you’ve been cheating with. You know the ones I mean. Also, treat yourself to some dark chocolate. The magnesium in dark chocolate will help with potassium absorption 🙂
- Dance – or walk, or bike, or swim….just get your body moving with low-stress activities that increase blood-flow, breathing rate, heart strength and joy. We all know that being active is important for overall health and the key is to aim for consistent exercise. Over time it has a significant influence on lowering blood pressure. So pick some activities you love and stick with them long term.
- Walk The Outer Edges of The Grocery Store – stick to the aisles full of naturally-grown fruits, veggies, whole grains, probiotic dairy, nuts, and seeds. Staying away from processed sugars and carbs will literally change your life.
- Sleep – Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure rates stay in healthy ranges with consistent, quality sleep. Aim for at least 8 hours of restful sleep (need some tips, click here). The L-theanine from your morning green tea will help with this – and if you still struggle with quality of sleep, look into #2 above.
- Supplement –Magnesium and Coenzyme Q10 are both essential nutrients for the body – and are easily depleted by poor diet, age, and prescription medications. Fortunately, they are both available as nutritional supplements and can improve heart health tremendously.
Staying aware of your blood pressure levels is done easily with regular testing. Adopting new lifestyle habits to keep the silent killer at bay will make an enormous difference in your overall health. Remember, most people don’t realize they have a problem until there has already been significant damage done. Most fail to identify the potentially-reversible causes, including heavy metals and sleep apnea. Don’t be one of those people. Please take good care of yourself today.
Want to learn more about simple ways you can reverse and prevent diseases? We send value-packed monthly newsletters straight to your inbox. Go here to subscribe to this list today!
Did you know that we offer custom programs for reversing heart disease? We use evidence-based therapies and personal protocols that you won’t find anywhere else. Ask us about setting up a consultation here.