Blood Pressure Causing a Dilemma?

Blood Pressure Dilemma?

 

Blood pressure can be a real issue for many people.  Often clients come in on three and four different medications trying to get blood pressure into a normal range.  This can be a challenge because blood pressure can rise from exercise, stress, and emotions ranging from joy to anger.  Usually blood pressure would return to normal once the situation has passed.  In many people, however, blood pressure is high all the time.  More than 50 million Americans have high blood pressure known as hypertension, including almost half of those over the age of sixty-five.  This disorder can lead to very serious conditions including stroke, heart disease, diabetes, eye damage and kidney problems, so it is considered one of the country’s leading health problems. 

 

What creates your blood pressure?

 

Blood circulates through the body and presses against the walls of the arteries.  The force of this action is called blood pressure.  When the pressure is too high, the arterial walls become distorted, they may narrow or thicken and an extra burden of stress is passed on to the heart. 

 

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

 

Sometimes there are symptoms of high blood pressure.  You may have unexplained headaches, nosebleeds, or spells of dizziness or sweating.  But most of the time high blood pressure is completely asymptomatic, so it’s vital that you have it checked regularly; This disorder can strike anyone at any age, but it is most common among the elderly, African Americans, and people of all race living in the southeastern United States.  If you fall into any of these risk categories, or if you have a family history of hypertension, you should be sure to have routine checks and take preventative measures.

About 90 percent of all cases of high blood pressure are called primary or essential hypertension, meaning that there is no underlying disease and no obvious cause for hypertension.  Most likely, a cluster of lifestyle factors is to blame:  diet, lack of exercise, stress and smoking have all been linked to an increase in blood pressure.  If another disease or condition such as; cardiovascular disease, kidney, adrenal, or thyroid disorders causes the problem, it is secondary hypertension.  A very small percentage of people suffer from malignant hypertension, in which blood pressure can suddenly soar to extremely dangerous levels.

Essential hypertension can often be controlled with home treatment, but if you have any kind of high blood pressure you must be under the care of a doctor.

 

Symptoms

 

High blood pressure does not usually produce symptoms.  If, however, you experience any of the following, see a doctor.

 

  • Recurring headaches
  • Visual disturbances
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained sweating
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Nosebleeds
  • Ringing in the ears

 

Root causes

 

  • Diet high in fat, sugar and/or salt
  • Obesity
  • Use of alcohol or caffeine
  • Inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Underlying medical issues
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Pregnancy or Birth control pills

 

Recommended Testing

 

The following tests are helpful to assess possible metabolic reasons for high blood pressure:

  • Vitamin and Mineral analysis – blood, urine or hair
  • Food allergy testing – Blood or biofeedback
  • Toxic metal (lead, cadmium, etc.) – Hair or Urine 

 

Recommended Foods

 

  1. A diet high in fiber is an excellent way to control or reverse high blood pressure.  Your meals should be based around fresh, raw vegetables; whole grains, (like oats), beans, nuts and seeds.
  2. Dehydration increases the risk of hypertension, so get plenty of clean water every two waking hours.
  3. As you lower your sodium intake by decreasing your processed foods you need to increase your potassium intake.  Include apples, asparagus, cabbage, oranges, tomatoes, bananas, kelp and alfalfa.
  4. Apples are super-foods for people with high blood pressure.  Not only do they have high levels of potassium, they’re also a good source of pectin, which is an excellent type of soluble fiber.
  5. Onions, garlic and parsley have been shown to bring down blood pressure.  They also add flavor to vegetarian meals, so take advantage of their healing properties daily.
  6. Celery has been shown in animal studies to reduce blood pressure consume up to four stalks a day. 

 

Foods to avoid

 

  1. Avoid processed salt, instead incorporate Celtic sea salt it contains 18 minerals.  Make sure you are eating a whole food diet so that you are not getting table salt in packaged foods.
  2. Avoid Saturated, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats because fats cause high blood pressure and place a terrible burden on your arteries and heart.  Eliminate animal products, margarine, butter, shortening and refined vegetable oils.
  3. Sugar is linked to hypertension.  If you do not eat packaged or processed foods you will eliminate the largest sources of added sugar from your diet, but you should also avoid sugary baked goods and limit your intake of foods that are sweetened naturally.
  4. Overindulgence in caffeine is a cause of high blood pressure.  Cut back on your intake of coffee, colas, chocolate and caffeinated teas.  No more than one alcoholic beverage a day.

 

General Recommendations

 

Typically, for high blood pressure it is best to get a Functional Medicine, (customized), plan and take a more targeted approach to address the root causes.

 

Here are a few super supplements that may help gain better control:

 

  • Hawthorn extract-helps to dilate the artery walls and decreased blood pressure
  • Calcium/Magnesium – these minerals have shown in studies to lower blood pressure
  • Co-Q10– Studies show that this nutrient reduces blood pressure
  • Garlic – Several studies confirm garlic’s ability to lower blood pressure
  • Omega 3 fatty acids– Combination of EPA and DHA this must be 3rd party tested and GMP certified
  • Vitamin C – has a mild blood pressure lowering effect and helps the body detoxify toxic metals, such as lead, which will contribute to high blood pressure.

 

There are also several homeopathy combinations that can be used to lower blood pressure:

 

  • Acupressure can be used with certain pressure points to help relieve tension and encourage circulation to the heart.
  • Massage can also be great to help people with high blood pressure.  It regulates the body’s rhythms, improves circulation and promotes relaxation, so make a regular appointment with a good therapist if possible.
  • Reflexology is also helpful to work on areas that correspond to the thyroid, kidneys and solar plexus along with the pituitary and adrenals.

 

If you are obese, you must lose weight, moderate exercise is recommended but you must consult with your doctor first before starting an exercise program. In addition, if testing shows high amounts of toxic metals (lead, cadmium, mercury and aluminum) you will need to work with a professional that can help rid your body of the heavy metals.

 

Let our team of experts at Forum Health Clarkstoncreate a customized nutrition plan that will address your underlying issues based on your health history and testing (when available). Give us a call today!!

 

 

Cindy Crandell RN, CN

Functional Medicine Nutritionist

248-625-5143

Resources:

Prescription for natural cures – blood pressure

Dr Axe – Natural cures of blood pressure

Web MD – Blood pressure description

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