What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
When the heart pumps blood through the arteries (large blood vessels), it pushes the blood
against the arterial walls with a force that is measured as "blood pressure".
Ideally, we should all have a blood pressure below 120 over 80 (120/80). This is the ideal
blood pressure for people wishing to have good health. At this level, we have a much lower
risk of heart disease or stroke.
High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease,
also known as coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and
other health problems.
Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood.
This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats,
your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure.
Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures.
Usually they are written one above or before the other.
Using this blood pressure chart:
To work out what your blood pressure readings mean, just find your top number (systolic) on the left side of the blood pressure chart and read across, and your bottom number (diastolic) on the bottom of the blood pressure chart. Where the two meet is your blood pressure.
120/80 or lower is normal blood pressure
140/90 or higher is high blood pressure
Between 120 and 139 for the top number, or between 80 and 89 for the bottom number is prehypertension
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. You can control high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle habits and taking medicines, if needed.
Causes and Symptoms
Hypertension is often called a "silent killer" because even severe, uncontrolled high
blood pressure usually has no obvious symptoms. Blood pressure tends to rise with age.
Follow a healthy lifestyle helps most people delay or prevent this rise in blood pressure.
People who have high blood pressure can take steps to control it and reduce their risk of related health problems.
Key steps include following a healthy lifestyle: staying active, drinking clean water
and eating organic local whole foods.
Excessive pressure makes the heart work harder, increasing its oxygen demands and contributing to angina, and can eventually lead to an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly), as well as damage to blood vessels in the kidneys and brain. Hypertension, therefore, increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease.
Hypertension is the most common form of cardiovascular disease in America, affecting about 50 million people - that's close to one out of four adults. The good news is that hypertension is easy to detect, and can often be improved or controlled with natural remedies for high blood pressure and changes in diet and lifestyle.
Hydration - Water
Drinking adequate amounts of water is, quite simply, one of the healthiest,
cheapest, and most effective ways that you can help lower your blood pressure.
Chronic dehydration causes blood vessels to constrict, which helps the body
conserve water by reducing water loss through perspiration, urination, and respiration.
Unfortunately, constricted blood vessels require your heart to work harder, resulting
in a spike in blood pressure.
We all know the 8-glasses-a-day rule, but don’t abide by it. An easy way to figure what you need is
to divide your body weight in two.
Supportive Supplements Quality Whole Food MultiVitamin
Taking a daily multivitamin simply ensures that you get the energy you need to drive metabolism.
If you're not eating a diet rich in fresh whole foods, and if you don't get plenty of fruits and vegetables,
a multivitamin may help you fill in the gaps.
My favorite MultiVitamin is Catalyn, from Standard Process. Introduced in 1929, Catalyn, Dr. Lee's first product,
contains vital nutrients from whole food sources and supports overall well-being.
Normalizing your vitamin D levels can have a powerful effect on normalizing your blood pressure.
Lower Vitamin D levels affect your immune system and increase risk for heart disease.
Additionally, recent studies link Vitamin D to the regulation of many other bodily functions
including blood pressure, glucose control, and inflammation, all of which are important risk
factors related to heart disease.
Vitamin D levels can be normalized by simply including 20 minutes of sun exposure, per day.
The normal "functional" range for vitamin D is approximately 40 to 74 nanograms per mL of blood.
This range may vary slightly from one lab to another. If you have less than 40 nanograms of
vitamin D per mL of blood, you probably have a deficiency.
Vitamin D Supplements are available in pill form, as well as simple flavored cod liver oil.
My favorite Vitamin D supplement is: Cataplex D from Standard Process.
Omega 3 fatty acids
According to multiple studies done, omega 3 fats lower blood pressure and improve blood vessel function.
Clinical trials have revealed that fish oil reduced blood pressure readings by 3.0mm Hg for systolic
pressure (top number) and 1.5mm Hg for diastolic pressure (bottom number).
My favorite sources of omega 3 fats are wild-caught salmon, snapper, halibut, cod, shrimp and scallops.
An excellent plant source of omega 3 fatty acids is ground flax seeds.
My favorite omega 3 supplement is: Tuna Omega 3 from Standard Process.
Are you ready to address your high blood pressure with nutrition?
Debbie Allen is a Master Nutrition Therapist and owner of Denver Nutrition.
Debbie works with individuals who have a genuine motivation to become
healthier through diet and lifestyle changes. With Nutrition Therapy, Debbie will
provide you with ongoing, individualized dietary plans and nutritional education
based on your goals and food preferences to make the process easy and fun, while
integrating the use of whole natural foods.
Good health begins with taking responsibility for our own body.
Contact Me Now to Begin Your Transformation.
If you have questions, need more information or would like to schedule
a FREE 30 minute phone consult: Call Debbie Allen, MNT at 303-782-4842.