There are several personal habits that you can change to improve your blood pressure.
- Being overweight—taxes the heart and increases blood pressure. Belly fat is exceptionally dangerous because it causes arterial stiffness and produces inflammation that causes plaque formation on arteries
- Over consumption of Alcohol—drinking more than 2 drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women
- Lack of exercise—increases heart rate and weight gain. Lack of exercise is a very treatable risk of hypertension.
- Tobacco consumption- both tobacco itself and the act of inhaling nicotine and carbon monoxide (causes hypoxia) cause your vessels to develop plaque become stiff and results in hypertension.
- Stress- Life stress kicks in the hormones cortisol and adrenaline which increase blood pressure by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. Adrenaline causes vessels to constrict and cortisol increases plaque.
- Oral Birth Control Pills—increase blood pressure in some women and should be stopped if high BP is found in a patient on BCPs.
We haven’t discussed the effect of nutrition on hypertension, but it is critical to the prevention of high BP and the diseases it leads to. A balanced Mediterranean type diet of fresh foods and eating multiple times a day, non-processed foods, with very little salt and no processed sugar or flour is the best diet to be on. Even if you can’t do this daily trying to choose the right foods and limiting salty and processed carbohydrate foods is the first step to retraining your body to eat right and avoid illness.
Vitamins are very important to keep our body’s healthy because our food is not as nutritious as it was 75 years ago. Deficient Vitamin D has been associated with hypertension especially in African Americans, however I would like all my patients to have their vitamin D level around 80 (not the 30 that is recommended by the Lab companies). Vitamin A is excellent for sustaining healthy lining in our arteries. You can get Vitamin A in Carrot juice or in a pill. Iodine is necessary for all tissues, especially blood vessels so taking a supplement called Iodoral daily with breakfast or eating kelp (seaweed salad) daily is sufficient. Magnesium is the ideal mineral to take to help your arteries dilate and deliver oxygen to your tissues. Magnesium is used to lower blood pressure and treat muscle spasms. Magnesium glycinate at 200 mg twice a day is sufficient for most people. Last vitamin is Vitamin K2 is an important vitamin not found in our daily diet. Vitamin K2 prevents arterial plaque production, decreases blood pressure and improves bone density.
Calcium has turned out to be deleterious if taken and it is not deposited in the bones where it is meant to deposit. Please do not take extra calcium if you aren’t taking replacement hormones after menopause, or if you aren’t taking magnesium with it.
Nitric Oxide (NO) is the substance in our bodies that is made in the intima of our arteries and causes our arteries to dilate, and prevents stiffness of the arteries. We make less and less of it as we age, and when testosterone drops. We treat this by replacing testosterone and if orgasms and erections are still not what they should be (a sign of low NO) we begin a supplement called Neo40 which is a chewable NO supplement and it really works. Even if you don’t have erectile problems yet you should still take Neo40 is you have hypertension.
CBD Oil in medical strength like Med 7 CBD oil, should be taken by everyone with high blood pressure. Every factor that causes hypertension is improved with CBD oil and stress is easier to tolerate.
Hormones should all be replaced to young healthy ranges to sustain healthy vessels. The trigger for aging and hypertension is the loss of our sex hormones, low thyroid and low Growth hormone. The replacement of these hormones shows in the faces of our patients with a face that looks like it has plenty of blood flow.
We have a lot of things we can do to prevent hypertension that will prevent deadly diseases in the future, it takes time and effort but I have seen many men and women become normotensive with alterations such as weight loss, and diet and supplement changes. We should catch it quickly, and try to reverse it but treating BP adequately and taking your medicine is critical to preventing the diseases that follow untreated hypertension.
Your health is in your own control for this sign of future disease…You can change the path your life will take if you follow the recommendations listed above.
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.